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Presented to the 
LIBRARY of the 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 

by 

ONTARIO LEGISLATIVE 
LIBRARY 



THE 



\ IMPEACHMENT 



OF THE 



HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 



CHARLES BRADLAUGH. 





BOSTON : 

F. GILL & COMPAKY, 

(LATE SHEl-AED & GrLL,) 

'WASHINGTON STREET. ^.^ 

*'%'*" 

1875. 






ft 







Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by 

WILLIAM F. GILL & COMPANY, 
In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 



ROCKWELL & CUUBCHILL, 
Printers and Stercotypcrs, Boston. 



PREFACE 



. THE kindly reception given to me personally 
throughout those portions of the United States it has 
yet been my good fortune to visit, tempts me to 
comply with the request' of many friends, that I 
should issue here an edition of my impeachment of 
the reigning family in England. The matter con- 
tained in these pages has been delivered orally 
throughout Great Britain, and, with one exception, 
no reply has been offered to it. Abuse has been 
plentiful, and threats of prosecution not infrequent ; 
but although at least one hundred and fifty thousand 
persons have listened to the lectures, and four edi- 
tions of the pamphlet have been exhausted in Eng- 
land, only one attempt was made, in the Gentleman's 
Magazine, to advance any kind of reply. And even 
in this case, when a formal written discussion had 
been commenced, the editor of the Gentleman's Mag- 
azine refused to allow any rejoinder to his second 
paper. 

It is sometimes alleged against me that the pam- 
phlet is a too personal criticism ; my answer is that 
in every case the points dealt with have affected our 
national honor, or augmented our national taxation. 



IV PREFACE. 

This pamphlet is not a Republican one ; it is only 
an indictment alleging the incapacity and viciousness 
of the House of Brunswick, and a statement of the 
legal right of the British people to dethrone the 
succession on a vacancy arising. 

That I am a Republican is perfectly true ; that I 
believe a Republican form of government to be 
possible, by peaceful means in England, is well- 
known to those who have heard my lectures ; and, in 
issuing this essay to American readers, I desire to 
show that there are no reasons of personal loyalty, 
there is no plea of gratitude for personal service, which 
ought to be urged on behalf of George I. and his 
descendants. 

English by birth, by hope and in ambition, I seek 
to win from th*e descendants of those who broke loose 
from the Brunswicks nearly a century ago, sympathy 
for those who work with me now to a like end. If I 
fail, the fault is in the weakness of my tongue and 
pen, and not from any defects in the cause I advo- 
cate. 

The more than fair hearing given to my voice 
emboldens me to hope a patient investigation of the 
case my pen presents ; and should a verdict be given 
on this great continent unfavorable to me, I feel 
confident the jury of my readers will patiently weigh 
my statements before delivering their judgment. 

CHAKLES BRADLAUGH. 



IMPEACHMENT 

OF THE 

HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

CHAPTER I. 

INTRODUCTORY. 

BY statutes of the 12 and 13 Will. III., and 6 Anne c. 11, 

-* 

Article 2, the British Parliament, limiting the monarchy to 
members of the Church of England, excluded the Stuarts, 
and from and aftor the death of King William and the 
Princess Anne without heirsfcontrived that the Crown of 
this kingdom should devolve upon the Princess Sophia, 
Duchess Dowager of Hanover, and the heirs of her body, 
being Protestants. Heirs failing to Anne, although seven- 
teen times pregnant, and Sophia dying about seven weeks 
before Anne, her son George succeeded under these Acts 
as George I. of England and Scotland. 

It is said, and perhaps truly, that the German Protestant 
Guelph was an improvement on the Catholic Stuart, and the 
Whigs take credit for having effected this change in spite 
of the Tories. This credit they deserve ; but it must not be 
forgotten that it was scarce half a century before that the 
entire aristocracy, including the patriotic Whigs, coalesced 
to restore to the throne the Stuarts, who had been got rid 
of under Cromwell. If this very aristocracy, of which the 
Whigs form part, had never assisted in calling back the 
Stuarts in the person of Charles II., there would have been 
no need to thank them for again turning that family out. 



6 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

The object of the present essay is to submit reasons for 
the repeal of the Acts of Settlement and Union, so far as 
the succession to the throne is concerned, after the abdi- 
cation or demise of the present monarch. It is of course 
assumed, as a point upon which all supporters of the pres- 
ent Koyal Family will agree, that the right to deal with the 
throne is inalienably vested in the English people, to be 
exercised by them through their representatives in Parlia- 
ment. The right of the members of the House of Bruns- 
wick to succeed to the throne is a right accruing only from 
the acts of Settlement and Union, it being clear that, ex- 
cept from this statute, they have no claim to the throne. 
It is therefore submitted, that should Parliament in its wis- 
dom see fit to enact that after the death or abdication of 
her present Majesty, the throne shall no longer be filled by 
a member of the House of Brunswick, such an enactment 
would be perfectly within the competence of Parliament. 
It is further submitted that the Parliament has full and un- 
controllable authority to make any enactment, and to repeal 
any enactment heretofore made, even if such new statute, 
or the repeal of any old statute, should in truth change 
the constitution of the Empire, or modify the character and 
powers of either Parliamentary Chamber. The Parliament 
of the English Commonwealth, which met on April 25th, 
1660, gave the Crown to Charles H., and the Parliament 
of the British Monarchy has the undoubted right to with- 
hold the Crown from Albert Edward, Prince of "Wales. 
The Convention which assembled at Westminster on Jan- 
uary 22d, 1688, took away the crown from James II., and 
passed over his son, the then Prince of Wales, as if he had 
been non-existent. This Convention was declared to have 
all the authority of Parlia ^nt ergo, Parliament has ad- 
mittedly the right to deprive a living King of his Crown, 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 7 

and to treat a Prince of Wales as having no claim to the 
succession. 

In point of fact two of the clauses of the Act of Settle- 
ment were repealed in the reign of Queen Anne, and a third 
clause was repealed early in the reign of George I., show- 
ing that this particular statute has never been considered 
immutable or irrepealable. It is right to add that the 
clauses repealed were only of consequence to the nation, 
and that their repeal was no injury to the Crown. The un- 
bounded right of the supreme Legislature to enlarge its 
own powers was contended for and admitted in 1716, when 
the duration of Parliament was extended four years, a tri- 
ennial Parliament declaring itself and all future Parliaments 
septennial. Furthermore, it has been held to be sedition to 
deny the complete authority of the Irish Parliament to put 
an end to its own existence. 

It has been admitted to be within the jurisdiction of Par- 
liament to give electoral privileges to citizens theretofore 
unenfranchised ; Parliament claims the unquestioned right 
to disfranchise persons, hitherto electors, for misconduct in 
the exercise of electoral rights, and in its pleasure to re- 
move and annul any electoral disability. The right of Par- 
liament to decrease or increase the number of representa- 
tives for any borough has never been disputed, and its 
authority to decrease the number of Peers sitting and vot- 
ing in the House of Lords was recognized in passing the 
Irish Church Disestablishment Bill, by which several Bish- 
ops were summarily ejected from amongst the Peers. It is 
now submitted that Parliament possesses no Legislative 
right but what it derives from the people, and that the 
people are under no irrevocable contract or obligation to 
continue any member of the.. House of Brunswick on the 
throne. In order to show thau this is not a solitary opin- 
ion, the following Parlimentary dicta are given : 



8 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

The Honorable Temple Luttrell, in a speech made in the 
House of Commons, on the 7th November, 1775, showed 
"that of thirty-three sovereigns since William the Con- 
queror, thirteen only have ascended the throne by divine 
hereditary right. . . . The will of the people, super- 
seding any hereditary claim to succession, at the com- 
mencement of the twelfth century placed Henry I. on the 
throne," and this subject to conditions as to laws to be 
made by Henry. King John was compelled " solemnly to 
register an assurance of the ancient rights of the people in 
a formal manner-;" and this necessary work was accom- 
plished by the Congress at Runnymede, in the year 1115. 
" Sir, in the reign of Henry III. (about the year 1223), the 
barons, clergy and freeholders, understanding that the King, 
as Earl of Poictou, had landed some of his continental 
troops in the western ports of England, with a design to 
strengthen a most odious and arbitrary set of ministers, 
they assembled in a Convention or Congress, from whence 
they despatched deputies to King Henry, declaring that if 
he did not immediately send back those Poictouvians, and 
remove from his person and councils evil advisers, they 
would place upon the throne a Prince who should better 
observe the laws of the land. Sir, the King not only heark- 
ened to that Congress, but shortly after complied with 
every article of their demand, and publicly notified his ref- 
ormation. Now, Sir, what are we to call that assembly 
which dethroned Edward H. when the Archbishop of Can- 
terbury preached a sermon on this Text, ' The voice of the 
people is the voice of God'?" "A Prince of the house of 
Lancaster was invited over from banishment, and elected 
by the people to the throne " on the fall of Richard H. "I 
shall next proceed to the general Convention and Congress, 
which, in 1461, enthroned the Earl of March by the name 
of Edward IV., the Primate of all England collecting the suf- 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 9 

frages of the people." " In 1659, a Convention or Con- 
gress restored legal Monarchy in the person of Charles 
H." 

"William Pitt, on the 16th December, 1788, being then 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, contended that " the right of 
providing for the deficiency of Royal authority rested with 
the two remaining branches of the Legislature ; " and again, 
" on the disability of the Sovereign, where was the right to 
be found ? It was to be found in the voice, in the sense of 
the people ; with them it rested." On the 22d December, 
Mr. Pitt said that Mr. Fox had contended that " the two 
Houses of Parliament cannot proceed to legislate without a 
King." His (Mr. Pitt's) answer was : " The conduct of 
the Revolution had contradicted that assertion ; they had 
acted legislatively, and, no King being present, they must, 
consequently, have acted without a King." 

Mr. Hardinge, a barrister of great repute, and afterwards 
Solicitor-General and Judge, in the same debate, said : 
" The virtues of our ancestors and the genius of the Gov- 
ernment accurately understood, a century ago, had prompted 
the Lords and Commons of the realm to pass a law 
without a King ; and a law which, as he had always read 
it, had put upon living record this principle : ' That when- 
ever the supreme executive hand shall have lost its power 
to act, the people of the land, fully and freely represented, 
can alone repair the defect.' " 

On the 26th December, in the House of Lords, discussing 
the power to exclude a sitting Monarch from the throne, 
the Earl of Abingdon said : " Will a King exclude himself? 
No ! no 1 my Lords, that exclusion appertains to us and to 
the other House of Parliament exclusively. It is to us it 
belongs ; it is our duty. It is the business of the Lords and 
Commons of Great Britain, and of us alone, as the trustees 
and representatives of the nation." And following up this 



10 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. , 

argument, Lord Abingdon contended that in the contin- 
gency he was alluding to, " the right to new model or alter 
the succession vests in the Parliament of England without 
the King, in the Lords and Commons of Great Britain 
solely and exclusively." 

Lord Stormont, in the same debate, pointed out that Wil- 
liam HE. " possessed no other right to the throne than that 
which he derived from the votes of the two Houses." 

The Marquis of Lansdowne said : " One of the best con- 
stitutional writers we had was Mr. Justice Foster, who, 
in his book on the * Principles of the Constitution,' denies 
the right even of hereditary succession, and says it is no 
right whatever, but merely a political expedient. . . . The 
Crown, Mr. Justice Foster said, was not merely a descend- 
able property like a laystall, or a pigstye, but was put in 
trust for millions, and for the happiness of ages yet unborn, 
which Parliament has it always in its power to mould, to 
shape, to alter, to fashion, just as it shall think proper. 
And in speaking of Parliament," his Lordship said, " Mr. 
Justice Foster repeatedly spoke of the two Houses of Par- 
liament only." 

My object being to procure the repeal of the only title 
under which any member of the House of Brunswick could 
claim to succeed the present sovereign on the throne, or 
else to procure a special enactment which shall for the fu- 
ture exclude the Brunswicks, as the Stuarts were excluded 
in 1688 and 1701, the following grounds are submitted as 
justifying and requiring such repeal or new enactment : 

1st. That during the one hundred and fifty-seven years 
the Brunswick family have reigned over the British Empire, 
the policy and conduct of the majority of the members of 
that family, and especially of the various reigning members, 
always saving and excepting her present Majesty, have 
been hostile to the welfare of the mass of the people. This 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 11 

will be sought to be proved at length by a sketch of the 
principal events in the reign of each monarch, from August 
1st, 1714, to the present date. 

2d. That during the same period of one hundred and 
fifty-seven years, fifteen-sixteenths of the entire National 
Debt have been created, and that this debt is in great part 
the result of wars arising from the mischievous and pro- 
Hanoverian policy of the Brunswick family. 

3d. That in consequence of the incompetence or want of 
desire for governmental duty on the part of the various 
reigning members of the House of Brunswick, the govern- 
ing power of the country has been practically limited to a 
few families, who have used government in the majority of 
instances as a system of machinery for securing place and 
^pension for themselves and their associates ; while it is 
submitted that government should be the best contrivance 
of national wisdom for the alleviation of national suffering 
and promotion of national happiness. Earl Grey even ad- 
mits that " Our national annals, since the Revolution of 
1688, present a sad picture of the selfishness, baseness and 
corruption of the great majority of the actors on the politi- 
cal stage." 

4th. That a huge pension list has been created, the recip- 
ients of the largest pensions being in most cases persons 
who are already members of wealthy families, and who 
have done nothing whatever to justify their being kept in 
idleness at the national expense, while so many workers in 
the agricultural districts are in a state of semi-starvation ; 
so many toilers in large works in Wales, Scotland, and 
some parts of England, are in constant debt and depend- 
ence ; and while large numbers of the Irish peasantry 
having for many generations been denied life at home 
have until lately been driven to seek those means of 



12 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

existence across the sea which their own fertile land should 
have amply provided for them. 

5th. That the monarchs of the Brunswick family have 
been, except in a few cases of vicious interference, costly 
puppets, useful only to the governing aristocracy as a cloak 
to shield the real wrong doers from the just reproaches of 
the people. 

6th. That the Brunswick family have shown themselves 
utterly incapable of initiating or encouraging wise legisla- 
tion. That George I. was shut out practically from the 
government by his utter ignorance of the English language, 
his want of sympathy with British habits, and his frequent 
absences from this country. A volume of history, published 
by Messrs. Longmans in 1831, says that " George I. con- 
tinued a German princeling on the British throne 
surrounded still by his petty Hanoverian satellites, and so 
ignorant even of the language of his new subjects, that his 
English minister, who understood neither French nor Ger- 
man, could communicate with him only by an imperfect 
jargon of barbarous Latin." He " discarded his wife, and 
had two mistresses publicly installed in their Court rights 
and privileges." Earl Grey declares that " the highly bene- 
ficial practice of holding Cabinet Councils without the pres- 
ence of the sovereign arose from George the First's not 
knowing English." Leslie describes George I. as altogether 
ignorant of our language, laws, customs and constitution. 
Madame de Maintenon writes of him as disgusted with his 
subjects. That George II. was utterly indifferent to Eng- 
lish improvement, and was mostly away in Hanover. Lord 
Hervey's " Memoirs " portray him as caring for nothing 
but soldiers and women, and declare that his highest ambi- 
tion was to combine the reputation of a great general with 
that of a successful libertine. That George III. was 
repeatedly insane, and that in his officially lucid moments 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 13 

his sanity was more dangerous to England than his mad- 
ness. Buckle says of him that he was " despotic as well as 
superstitious. . . . Every liberal sentiment, everything 
approaching to reform, nay, even the mere mention of 
inquiry, was an abomination in the eyes of that narrow and 
ignorant prince." Lord Grenville, his Prime Minister, said 
of him : " He had perhaps the narrowest mind of any man 
I ever knew." That George IV. was a dissipated, drunken 
debauchee, bad husband, unfaithful lover, untrustworthy 
friend, unnatural father, corrupt regent, and worse king. 
Buckle speaks of " the incredible baseness of that ignoble 
voluptuary." That William IV. was obstinate, but for- 
tunately fearful of losing his crown, gave way to progress 
with a bad grace when chicanery was no longer possible, 
and continued resistance became dangerous. 

7th. That under the Brunswick family, the national 
expenditure has increased to a frightful extent, while our 
best possessions in America have been lost, and our home 
possession, Ireland, rendered chronic in its discontent by 
the terrible misgovernment under the four Georges. 

And 8th. That the ever increasing burden of the national 
taxation has been shifted from the land on to the shoulders 
of the middle and lower classes, the landed aristocracy 
having, until very lately, enjoyed the practical monopoly 
of tax-levying power. 



CHAPTER II. 

THE REIGN OF GEORGE I. 

ON August 1st, 1714, George Lewis, Elector of Hanover, 
and great-grandson of James I., of England, succeeded to 
the throne ; but being apparently rather doubtful as to the 



14 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

reception he would meet in this country, he delayed visiting 
his new dominions until the month of October. In April, 
1714, there was so little disposition in favor of the newly- 
chosen dynasty, that the Earl of Oxford entreated George 
not to bring any of his family into this country without 
Queen Anne's express consent. It seems strange to read 
in the correspondence of Madame Elizabeth Charlotte, 
Duchesse d'Orleans, her hesitation " to rejoice at the 
accession of our Prince George, for she had no confidence 
in the English ; " and her fears " that the inconstancy of 
the English will in the end produce some scheme which 
may be injurious to the French monarchy." She adds : 
" If the English were to be trusted, I should say that it is 
fortunate the Parliaments are in favor of George, but the 
more one reads the history of English revolutions, the 
more one is compelled to remark the eternal hatred which 
the people of -that nation have had towards their kings, as 
well as their fickleness." To-day it is the English who 
charge the French with fickleness. Thackeray says of 
George I. that " he showed an uncommon prudence and 
coolness of behavior when he came into his kingdom, exhib- 
iting no elation ; reasonably doubtful whether he should not 
be turned out some day ; looking upon himself only as a 
lodger, and making the most of his brief tenure of St. 
James's and Hampton Court, plundering, it is true, some- 
what, and dividing amongst his German followers ; but 
what could be expected of a sovereign who at home could 
sell his subjects at so many ducats per head, and make no 
scruple in so disposing of them?" At the accession of 
George I. the national debt of this country, exclusive of 
annuities, was about 36,000,000 ; after five Brunswicks 
have left us, it is 800,000,000 for Great Britain and Ire- 
land, and much more than 110,000,000 for India. The 
average annual national expenditure under the rule of 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 15 

George I. was 5,923,079 ; to-day it is more than 70,000,- 
000, of which more than 20,000,000 have been added in 
the last twenty years. During the reign of George I. land 
paid very nearly one-fourth the whole of the taxes ; to-day 
it pays less than one-seventieth part ; and yet, while its 
proportion of the burden is so much lighter, its exaction 
from labor in rent is ten times heavier. 

George I. came to England without his wife, the Princess 
of Zelle. Years before, he had arrested her and placed her 
in close confinement in Ahlden Castle, on account of her 
intrigue with Philip, Count Konigsmark, whom some say 
George I. suspected of being the actual father of the Electo- 
ral Prince George , afterwards George II. To use the language 
of a writer patronized by George, Prince of Wales, in 1808, 
" The coldness between George I. and his son and suc- 
cessor, George II., may be said to have been almost coeval 
with the existence of the latter." Our King, George I., de- 
scribed by Thackeray as a " cold, selfish libertine," had 
Konigsmark murdered in the palace of Heranhausen ; con- 
fined his wife, at twenty-eight years of age, in a dungeon, 
where she remained until she was sixty ; and when George 
Augustus, Electoral Prince of Hanover, tried to get access 
to his mother, George Lewis, then Elector of Hanover, ar- 
rested Prince George also, and it is said, would have put 
him to death if the Emperor of Germany had not protected 
him as a Prince of the German Empire. During the reign 
of George II., Frederick, Prince of Wales, whom his father 
denounced as a "changeling," published an account of how 
George I. had turned Frederick's father out of the palace. 
These Guelphs have been a loving family. The Edinburgh 
Review declares that " the terms on which the eldest sons 
of this family have always lived with their fathers have 
been those of distrust, opposition, and hostility." Even 
after George Lewis had ascended the throne of England, 



16 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

his hatred to George Augustus was so bitter, that there 
was some proposition that James, Earl Berkeley and Lord 
High Admiral, should carry off the Prince to America and 
keep him there. 

Thackeray says : " When George I. made his first visit to 
Hanover, his son was appointed regent during the Royal 
absence. But this honor was never again conferred on the 
Prince of "Wales ; he and his father fell out presently. On 
the occasion of the christening of his second son, a Royal 
row took place, and the Prince, shaking his fist in the Duke 
of Newcastle's face, called him a rogue, and provoked his 
august father. He and his wife were turned out of St. 
James's, and their princely children taken from them, 
by order of the Royal head of the family. Father and 
mother wept piteously at parting from their little ones. 
The young ones sent some cherries, with their love, to papa 
and mamma, the parents watered the fruit with their tears. 
They had no tears thirty-five years afterwards, when Prince 
Frederick died, their eldest son, their heir, their enemy." 

A satirical ballad on the expulsion of Prince George from 
St. James's Palace, which was followed by the death of the 
newly-christened baby Prince, is droll enough to here re- 
peat : 

The King then took his gray goose quill, 
And dip't it o'er in gall ; 

And, by Master Vice Chamberlain, 
He sent to him this scrawl : 

" Take hence yourself, and eke your spouse, 

Your maidens and your men ; 
Your trunks, and all your trumpery, 

Except your chil-de-ren." 

The Prince secured with nimble haste 

The Artillery Commission ; 
And with him trudged full many a maid, 

But not one politician. 



THIS HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 17 

Up leapt Lepel, and frisked away, 

As though she ran on wheels ; 
Miss Meadows made a woful face, 

Miss Howe took to her heels. 

But Belenden I needs must praise, 

Who, as down stairs she jumps, 
Sang " O'er the hills and far away," 

Despising doleful dumps. 

Then up the street they took their way, 
And knockt up good Lord Grant-ham ; 

Higgledy-piggledy they lay, 
And all went rantam scantam. 

Now sire and son had played their part, 

What could befall beside? 
Why, the poor babe took this to heart, 

Kickt up its heels, and died. 

Mahon, despite all his desire to make out the best for the 
Whig revolution and its consequences, occasionally makes 
some pregnant admissions : " The jealousy which George I. 
entertained for his son was no new feeling. It had existed 
even at Hanover, and had since been inflamed by an insid- 
ious motion of the Tories that out of the Civil List 100,- 
000 should be allotted as a separate revenue for the Prince 
of Wales. This motion was overruled by the Ministerial 
party, and its rejection offended the Prince as much as its 
proposal had the King. ... In fact it is remarkable . 
. . that since that family has reigned, the heirs-apparent 
have always been on ill terms with the sovereign. There 
have been four Princes of Wales since the death of Anne, 
and all four have gone into bitter opposition." "That 
family," said Lord Carteret one day in full 
ways has quarrelled, and always will quarrel, frojj 
tion to generation." 




18 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

" Through the whole of the reign of George I., and 
through nearly half of the reign of George II.," says Lord 
Macaulay, " a Tory was regarded as the enemy of the 
reigning house, and was excluded from all the favors of 
the Crown. Though most of the country gentlemen were 
Tories, none but Whigs were appointed deans and bishops. 
In every County, opulent and well-descended Tory squires 
complained that their names were left out of the Commission 
of the Peace, while men of small estate and of mean birth, 
who were for toleration and excise, septennial parliaments 
and standing armies, presided at Quarter Sessions, and 
became deputy-lieutenants." 

In attacking the Whigs, my object is certainly not to 
write in favor of the Tories, but some such work is needful 
while so many persons labor under the delusion that the 
Whigs have always been friends to liberty and progress. 

Although George I. brought with him no wife to England, 
he was accompanied by at least two of his mistresses, and 
our peerage roll was enriched by the addition of Madame 
Kielmansegge as Countess of Darlington, and Mademoi- 
selle Erangard Melosine de Schulenberg as Duchess of 
Kendal and Munster, Baroness of Glastonbury, and Count- 
ess of Feversham. These peeresses were received with high 
favor by the Whig aristocracy, although the Tories refused 
to countenance them, and " they were often hooted by the 
mob as they passed through the streets." The Edinburgh 
Review described them as " two big blowsy German 
women." Here I have no room to deal fairly with Char- 
lotte Sophia, Baroness of Brentford and Countess of Darl- 
ington; her title is extinct, and I can write nothing of 
any good or useful act to revive her memory. Lord Ches- 
terfield says of George I. : " No woman came amiss to him, 
if she were only very willing and very fat." John Heneage 
Jesse, in his " Memoirs of the Court of England " speak- 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 19 

ing of the Duchess of Kendal, the Countess Platen (the 
co-partner in the murder of Konigsmark) , afterwards 
Countess of Darlington, and many others less known to 
infamy says that George I. " had the folly and wicked- 
ness to encumber himself with a seraglio of hideous German 
prostitutes." The Duchess of Kendal was for many years 
the chief mistress of George, and being tall and lean was 
caricatured as the Maypole or the Giraffe. She had a pen- 
sion of 7,500 a year, the profits of the place of Master of 
the Horse, and other plunder. The Countess of Darling- 
ton's figure may be judged from the name of Elephant or 
Camel, popularly awarded to her. Horace Walpole says 
of her : " I remember as a boy being terrified at her enor- 
mous figure. The fierce black eyes, large and rolling, 
between two lofty-arched eyebrows, two acres of cheeks 
spread with crimson, an ocean of neck that overflowed, and 
was not distinguished from the lower part of her body, and 
no part restrained by stays. No wonder that a child 
dreaded such an ogress." She died 1724. Mahon says: 
" She was unwieldy in person, and rapacious in character." 

Phillimore declares that "George I. brought with him 
from Hanover mistresses as rapacious, and satellites as 
ignoble, as those which drew down such deserved obloquy 
on Charles 31., Bothman, Bernstoff, Robethon, and two 
Turks Mustapha and Mahomet, meddled more with 
public affairs, and were to the full as venal as Chiffin, Pepys 
and Smith." Mahon, who calls Robethon " a prying, 
impertinent, venomous creature," adds that " coming from 
a poor electorate, a flight of hungry Hanoverians, like so 
many famished vultures, fell with keen eyes and bended 
talons on the fruitful soil of England." 

One of the earliest acts of the Whig aristocracy, in the 
reign of George I., was to pass a measure through Parlia- 
ment, lengthening the existence of that very Parliament to 



20 THE HOUSE OF BRUSTSWICK. 

seven years, and giving to the King the power to continue 
all subsequent Parliaments to a like period. The Triennial 
Parliaments were thus lengthened by a corrupt majority. 
For the committal of the Septennial Bill there was a 
majority of 72 votes, and it is alleged by the Westmin- 
ster Review , "that about 82 members of the honorable 
house had either fingered Walpole's gold, or pocketed the 
bank-notes which, by the purest accident, were left under 
their plates. ... In the ten years which preceded the Sep- 
tennial Act, the sum expended in Secret Service money was 
337,960. In the ten years which followed the passing of the 
Septennial Act, the sum expended for Secret Service was 
1,453,400." The same writer says : " The friends and 
framers of the Triennial Bill were for the most part Tories, 
and its opponents for the most part Whigs. The framers 
and friends of the Bill for long Parliaments were all Whigs, 
and its enemies all Tories." When the measure came 
before the Lords, we find Baron Bernstoff, on the King's 
behalf, actually canvassing Peers' wives, with promises of 
places for their relatives, in order to induce them to get 
their husbands to vote for the Bill. Another of the early 
infringements of public liberty by the Whig supporters of 
George I., was the passing (1 George I., c. 5) the Riot 
Act, which had not existed from the accession of James 
I. to the death of Queen Anne. Sir John Hinde Cotton, 
a few years afterwards, described this Act, which is still the 
law of England, as " An Act by which a little dirty justice 
of the peace, the meanest and vilest tool a minister can 
use, had it in his power to put twenty or thirty of the best 
subjects of England to immediate death, without any trial or 
form, but that of reading a proclamation." In order to facil- 
tate the King's desire to spend most of his time in Hanover, 
the third section of the Act of Settlement was repealed. 
Thackeray says : " Delightful as London city was, King 



THE HOUSE OF BRUXSinCK. 21 

George I. liked to be out of it as much as ever he could, 
and when there, passed all his time with his Germans. It 
was with them as with Blucher one hundred years after- 
wards, when the bold old Reiter looked down from St. 
Paul's and sighed out, ' Was fur plunder ! ' The German 
women plundered, the German secretaries plundered, the 
German cooks and intendants plundered ; even Mustapha and 
Mahomet, the German negroes, had a share of the booty. 
Take what you can get, was the old monarch's maxim." 

There was considerable discontent expressed in the early 
years of George's reign. Hallam says : " Much of this 
disaffection was owing to the cold reserve of George L, 
ignorant of the language, alien to the prejudices of his 
people, and continually absent in his electoral domin- 
ions, to which he seemed to sacrifice the nation's in- 
terest. . . . The letters in Coxe's Memoirs of Walpole, 
abundantly show the German nationality, the impolicy and 
neglect of his duties, the rapacity and petty selfishness of 
George I. The Whigs were much dissatisfied, but the fear 
of losing their places made them his slaves." In order to 
add the duchies of Bremen and Verden to Hanover, in 
1716, the King, as Elector, made a treaty with Denmark 
against Sweden, which treaty proved the source of those 
Continental wars, and the attendant system of subsidies to 
European .powers, which have, in the main, created our 
"enormous National Debt. Bremen and Verden being 
actually purchased for George I. as the Elector of Hano- 
ver, with English money, Great Britain in addition was 
pledged by George I. to guarantee Sleswick to Denmark. 
Sweden and Denmark quarrelling and George I. as 
Elector of Hanover having, without the consent of the 
English Parliament, declared war against Sweden an 
English fleet was sent into the Baltic to take up a quarrel 
with which we had no concern. In addition we were in- 



22 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

volved in a quarrel \vith Russia, because that power had 
interfered to prevent Mecklenburg being added to George's 
Hanoverian estates. The chief mover in this matter was 
the notorious Baron Bernstoff, who held some village prop- 
erty in Mecklenburg. In all these complications, Hanover 
gained, England lost. If Hanover found troops, England 
paid for them, while the Electorate solely reaped the ben- 
efit. Every thoughtful writer admits that English interests 
were always betrayed to satisfy Hanoverian greed. 

The King's fondness for German3 r provoked some hos- 
tility, and amongst the various squibs issued, one in 1716, 
from the pen of Samuel "Wesley, brother of John Wesley, 
is not without interest. It represents a conversation be- 
tween George and the Duchess of Kendal : 

" As soon aa the wind it came fairly about, 
That kept the King in and his enemies out, 
He determined no longer confinement to bear, 
And thus to the Duchess his mind did declare : 

" Quoth he, My dear Kenny, I've been tired a long while, 
With living obscure in this poor little isle, 
And now Spain and Pretender have no more mines to spring, 
I'm resolved to go home and live like a King." 

The Duchess approves of this, describes and laughs at 
all the persons nominated for the Council of Regency, and 
concludes : 

" On the whole, Til be hanged if all over the realm 
There are thirteen such fools to be put to the helm; 
So for this time be easy, nor have jealous thought, 
They ha'n't sense to sell you, nor are worth being bought." 

' Tis for that (quoth the King, in very bad French), 
I chose them for my regents, and you for my wench, 
And neither, I'm sure, will my trust e'er betray, 
For the devil won't take you if I turn yon away." 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 23 

It was this same Duchess of Kendal who, as the King's 
mistress, was publicly accused of having received enormous 
sums of money from the South Sea Company for herself 
and the King, in order to shield from justice the principal 
persons connected with those terrible South Sea frauds, 
by which, in the year 1720, so many families were reduced 
to misery. 

In 1717, Mr. Shippen, a member of the House of Com- 
mons, was committed to the Tower, for saying in his place 
in the House, that it was the " infelicity of his Majesty's 
reign that he is unacquainted with our language and con- 
stitution." Lord Macaulay tells us how Lord Carteret, 
afterwards Earl Granville, rose into favor. The King 
could speak no English ; Carteret was the only one of the 
Ministry who could speak German. " All the communi- 
cation that "Walpole had with his master was in very bad 
Latin." The influence Carteret wielded over the King did 
not extend to every member of the Royal Family. The 
Princess of Wales afterwards described the Lords Carteret 
and Bolingbroke as two she had " long known to be two as 
worthless men of parts as any in the country, and who I 
have not only been often told are two of the greatest liars 
and knaves in any country, but whom my own observation 
and experience have found so." 

Under George I. our standing army was nearly doubled 
by the Whig Ministry, and this when peace would rather 
have justified a reduction than an increase. The payments 
to Hanoverian troops commenced under this king, a pay- 
ment which William Pitt afterwards earned the enmity of 
George II. by very sharply denouncing, and which pay- 
ment was but a step in the system of continental subsidies 
which have helped to swell our national debt to its present 
enormous dimensions. 

In this reign the enclosure of waste lands was practically 



24 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

commenced, sixteen enclosure Acts being passed, and 17,- 
660 acres of land enclosed. This example, once furnished, 
was followed in the next reign with increasing rapidity, 
226 enclosure Acts being passed in the reign of George II., 
and 318,778 acres of land enclosed. As Mr. Fawcett states, 
up to 1845, more than 7,000,000 acres of land, over which 
the public possessed invaluable rights, have been gradually 
absorbed, and individuals wielding legislative influence 
have been enriched at the expense of the public and the 
poor. 

Within six years from his accession, the King was about 
600,000 in debt, and this sum was the first of a long list 
of debts discharged by the nation for these Brunswicks. 
When our ministers to-day talk of obligations on the part 
of the people to endow each additional member of the 
Royal Family, the memory of these shameful extrava- 
gances should have some effect. George I. had a civil list 
of 700,000 a year ; he received 300,000 from the Royal 
Exchange Assurance Company, and 300,000 from the 
London Assurance Companies, and had one million voted 
to him in 1726 towards payment of his debts. 

When the "South Sea Bill "was promoted in 1720, 
wholesale bribery was resorted to. Transfers of stock were 
proved to have been made to persons high in office. Two 
members of the Whig Ministry, Lord Sunderland and Mr. 
Aislabie, were so implicated that they had to resign their 
offices, and the last-named, who was Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer, was ignominiously expelled the House of Com- 
mons. Royalty itself, or at least, the King's sultanas, and 
several of his German household, shared the spoil. 30,000 
were traced to the King's mistresses, and a select commit- 
tee of the House denounced the whole business as " a train 
of the deepest villany and fraud with which hell ever con- 
trived to ruin a nation." Near the close of the reign, Lord 



THE HOUSE OP BRUNSWICK. 25 

Macclesfied, Lord Chancellor and favorite and tool of the 
King, was impeached for extortion and abuse of trust in his 
office, and, being convicted, was sentenced to pay a fine of 
30,000. In 1716, Mademoiselle Schulenberg, then Duchess 
of Munster, received 5,000 as a bribe for procuring the 
title of Viscount for Sir Henry St. John. In 1724, the 
same mistress, bribed by Lord Bolingbroke, successfully 
used her influence to pass an act through Parliament restor- 
ing him his forfeited estates. Mr. Chetwynd, says, my 
Lady Cowper, in order to secure his position in the Board 
of Trade, paid to another of George's mistresses 500 
down, agreed to allow her 200 a year as long as he held 
the place, and gave her also the fine, brilliant ear-rings she 
-wore. 

In 1724 there appeared in Dublin, the first of the famous 
"Drapier Letters," written by Jonathan Swift against 
Wood's coinage patent. A patent had been granted to a 
man named Wood for coining half-pence in Ireland. This 
grant was made under the influence of the Duchess of 
Kendal, the mistress of the King, and on the stipulation 
that she should receive a large share of the profits. These 
" Drapier Letters " were prosecuted by the Government^ 
but Swift followed them with others jtlie~grand juries re- 
fused to find true bills, and ultimately the patent was can- 
celled. Wood, or the Duchess, got as compensation a 
grant of a pension of 3,000 a year for eight years. 

George died at Osnabruck, on his journey Hanover-wards, 
in June, 1727, having made a will by which he disposed of 
his money in some fashion displeasing to his son George 
II. ; and as the Edinburgh Review tells us, the latter 
"evaded the old king's directions, and got his money by 
burning his will." In this, George II. only followed his 
royal father's example. When Sophia Dorothea died, she 
left a will bequeathing her property in a fashion displeasing 



26 THE HOUSE OF BliTTNSWICK. 

to George I., who, without scruple, destroyed the testament 
and appropriated the estate. George I. had also previously 
burned the will of his father-in-law, the Duke of Zell. At 
this time the destruction of a will was a capital felony in 
England. 

In concluding this rough sketch of the reign of George 
I., it must not be forgotten that his accession meant the 
triumph of the Protestant caste in Ireland, and that under 
his rule much was tlone to render permanent the utter 
hatred manifested by the Irish people to their English con- 
querors, who had always preferred the policy of extermi- 
nation to that of conciliation. Things were so sad in Ire- 
land at the end of this reign, that Dean Swift, in bitter 
mockery, " wrote and published his ' Modest Proposal ' for 
relieving the miseries of the people, by cooking and eating 
the children of the poor ; " " a piece of the fiercest sarcasm," 
says Mitchell, " steeped in all the concentrated bitterness 
of his soul." Poor Ireland, she had, at any rate, nothing 
to endear to her the memory of George I. 



CHAPTER III. 

THE REIGN OF GEORGE II. 

WHEN George I. died there was so little interest or affec- 
tion exhibited by his son and successor, that Sir Robert 
Walpole, on announcing to George II. that by the demise 
of his father he had succeeded to regal honors, was saluted 
with a volley of oaths, and " Dat is one big lie." No pre- 
tence even was made of sorrow. George Augustus had 
hated George Lewis during life, and at the first council, 
when the will of the late King was produced by the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, the new monarch simply took it up 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 27 

and walked out of the room with the document, which waa 
never seen again. Thackeray, who pictures George II. as 
" a dull, little man, of low tastes," says that he u made away 
with his father's will under the astonished nose of the 
Archbishop of Canterbury." A duplicate of this will hav- 
ing been deposited with the Duke of Brunswick, a large 
sum of money was paid to that Prince nominally as a sub- 
sidy by the English Government for the maintenance of 
troops, but really as a bribe for surrendering the document. 
A legacy having been left by this will to Lady Walsing- 
ham, threats were held out in 1733 by her then husband, 
Lord Chesterfield, and 20,000 was paid in compromise. 

The eldest son of George II. was Frederick, born in 1706, 
and who up to 1728 resided permanently in Hanover. Lord 
Hervey tells us that the King hated his son Frederick, and 
that the Queen Caroline, his mother, abhorred him. To 
Lord Hervey the Queen says : " My dear Lord, I will give 
it you under my hand, if you are in any fear of my relaps- 
ing, that my dear first-born is the greatest ass, and the 
greatest liar, and the greatest canaille, and the greatest beast 
in the whole world ; and that I most heartily wish he were 
out of it." This is a tolerably strong description of the 
father of George III. from the lips of his own mother. 
Along with this description of Frederick by the Queen, take 
Thackeray's character of George II.'s worthy father of wor- 
thy son : " Here was one who had neither dignity, learning, 
morals, nor wit who tainted a great society by a bad 
example ; who in youth, manhood, old age, was gross, low, 
and sensual." 

In 1705, when only Electoral Prince of Hanover, George 
had married Caroline, daughter of the Margrave of Anspach, 
a woman of more than average ability. Thackeray de- 
scribes Caroline in high terms of praise, but Lord Chester- 
field says that " she valued herself upon her skill in 



28 THE HOUSE OF BRUNS17ICK. 

simulation and dissimulation. . . . Cunning and perfidy were 
the means she made use of in business." The Prince of Ans- 
pach is alleged by the Whisperer to have raised some difficul- 
ties as to the marriage, on account of George I. being disposed 
to deny the legitimacy of his son, and it is further pretended 
that George I. had actually to make distinct acknowledg- 
ment of his son to King William III. before the arrange- 
ments for the Act of Settlement were consented to by that 
King. It is quite clear from the- diary of Lady Cowper, 
that the old King's feeling towards George II. was always 
one of the most bitter hatred. 

The influence exercised by Queen Caroline over George 
II. was purely political; and Lord Hervey declares that 
" wherever the interest of Germany and the honor of the 
Empire were concerned, her thoughts and reasonings were 
as German and Imperial as if England had been out of the 
question." 

A strange story is told of Sir Robert Walpole and Caro- 
line. Sir Robert, when intriguing for office under George I., 
with Townshend, Devonshire, and others, objected to their 
plans being communicated to the Prince of Wales, saying, 

" The fat b h, his wife, would betray the secret and 

spoil the project." This courtly speech being made known 
by some kind friend to the Princess Caroline, considerable 
hostility was naturally exhibited. Sir Robert Walpole, 
who held the doctrine that every person was purchasable, 
the only question being one of price, managed to purchase 
peace with Caroline when Queen. When the ministry sus- 
pended, " Walpole not fairly out, Compton not fairly in," 
Sir Robert assured the Queen that he would secure her an 
annuity of 100,000 in the event of the King's death, Sir 
Spencer Compton, who was then looked to as likely to be 
in power, having only offered 60,000. The Queen sent 
back word, " Tell Sir Robert the fat b h has forgiven 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 29 

him," and thenceforth they were political allies until the 
Queen's death in 1737. 

The domestic relations of George II. were marvellous. 
"We pass with little notice Lady Suffolk, lady-in-waiting to 
Queen and mistress to the King, who was sold by her hus- 
band for a pension of 12,000 a year, paid by the British 
tax-payers, and who was coarsely insulted by both their 
Majesties. It is needless to dwell on the confidential com- 
munications, in which " that strutting little sultan George 
II.," as Thackeray calls him, solicited favors from his wife 
for his mistress, the Countess of Walmoden ; but to use the 
words of the cultured Edinburgh Review, the Queen's 
" actual intercession to secure for the King the favors of 
the Duchess of Modena precludes the idea that these senti- 
ments were as revolting to the royal Philaminte as they 
would nowadays be to a scavenger's daughter. Nor was 
the Queen the only lady of the Royal Family who talked 
openly on these matters. "When Lady Suffolk was waning 
at court, the Princess Royal could find nothing better to 
say than this : ' I wish with all my heart that he (i. e., the 
King) would take somebody else, that Mamma might be 
relieved from the ennui of seeing him forever in her 
room.' " 

Lady Cowper in her diary tells us that George II., when 
Prince of Wales, intrigued with Lady "Walpole, not only 
with the knowledge of the Princess Caroline, but also with 
connivance of the Prime Minister himself. Lord Hervey 
adds that Caroline used to sneer at Sir Robert Walpole, 
asking how the poor man " avec ce gros corps, cesjambes 
enflees et ce villain venire" could possibly believe 
that any woman could love him for himself. And that Sir 
Robert retaliated, when Caroline afterwards complained to 
him of the King's cross temper, by telling her very coolly 
that " it was impossible it could be otherwise, since the 



30 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

King had tasted better things," and ended by advising her 
to bring pretty Lady Tankerville en rapport with the King. 

In 1727 an Act was passed, directed against workmen in 
the woollen trade, rendering combination for the purpose of 
raising wages unlawful. Some years afterwards, this Act 
was extended to other trades, and the whole tendency of 
the Septennial Parliament legislation manifests a most un- 
fortunate desire on the part of the Legislature to coerce 
and keep in subjection the artisan classes. 

In February, 1728, the celebrated " Beggar's Opera," by 
Ga}', was put on the stage at the Lincoln's Inn Fields 
Theatre, and, being supposed to contain some satirical 
reflections on court-corruption, provoked much displeasure 
on the part of Royalty. The Duchess of Queensborough, 
who patronized Gay, being forbidden to attend court, 
wrote thus : " The Duchess of Queensborough is surprised 
and well pleased that the King has given her so agreeable 
a command as forbidding her the court. . . . She hopes 
that, by so unprecedented an order as this, the King will 
see as few as she wishes at his court, particularly such as 
dare speak or think truth." 

In 1729, 115,000 was voted by Parliament for the pay- 
ment of the King's debts. This vote seems to have been 
obtained under false pretences, to benefit the King, whose 
" cardinal passion," says Phillimore, " was avarice." 

The Craftsman, during the first decade of the reign, 
fiercely assailed the Whig ministry for " a wasteful expend- 
iture of money in foreign subsidies and bribes ; " and in 
his place in the House of Commons William Pitt, " the 
great Commoner," in the strongest language attacked the 
system of foreign bribery by which home corruption was 
supplemented. 

The rapidly increasing expenditure needed every day in- 
creased taxation, and a caricature published in 1732 marks 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 31 

the public feeling. A monster (Excise), in the form of a 
many-headed dragon, is drawing the minister (Sir Robert 
Walpole) in his coach, and pouring into his lap, in the 
shape of gold, what it has eaten up in the forms of mutton, 
hams, cups, glasses, mugs, pipes, etc. 

" See this dragon Excise 

Has ten thousand eyes, 
And five thousand mouths to devour us ; 

A sting and sharp claws, 

With wide gaping jaws, 
And a belly as big as a store-house." 

Beginning with wines and liquors, 

" Grant these, and the glutton 

Will roar out for mutton, 
Your beef, bread, and bacon to boot ; 

Your goose, pig, and pullet, 

He'll thrust down his gullet, 
Whilst the laborer munches a root." 

In 1730 Mr. Sandys introduced a Bill to disable pen- 
sioners from sitting in Parliament. George II. vigorously 
opposed this measure, which, was defeated. In the King's 
private notes to Lord Townshend, Mr. Sandys' proposed 
act is termed a "villanous measure," which should be 
" torn to pieces in every particular." 

It was in 1732 that the Earl of Aylesford, a Tory peer, 
declared that standing armies in time of peace were 
" against the very words of the Petition of Rights" and 
that " all the confusions and disorders which have been 
brought upon this kingdom for many years, have been all 
brought upon it by means of standing armies." In 1733 
Earl Strafford affirmed that " a standing army " was 
" always inconsistent with the liberties of the people ; " and 
urged that " where the people have any regard for their 



32 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

liberties, they ought never to keep up a greater number of 
regular forces than are absolutely necessary for the security 
of the Government." Sir John Barnard declared that the 
army ought not to be used on political questions. He 
said : " In a free country, if a tumult happens from a just 
cause of complaint, the people ought to be satisfied ; their 
grievances ought to be redressed ; they ought not surely to 
be immediately knocked on the head because they may 
happen to complain in an irregular way." Mr. Pulteney 
urged that a standing army is " a body of men distinct 
from the body of the people ; they are governed by different 
laws; blind obedience and an entire submission to the 
orders of their commanding officer is their only principle. 
The nations around us are already enslaved by those very 
means ; by means of their standing armies they have every 
one lost their liberties ; it is indeed impossible that the lib- 
erties of the people can be preserved in a country where a 
numerous standing army is kept up." 

In 1735 sixteen Scottish peers were elected to sit in the 
House of Lords, and in a petition to Parliament it was 
alleged, that the whole of this list of sixteen peers was 
elected by bribery and corruption. The petition positively 
asserted " that the list of sixteen peers for Scotland had 
been formed by persons high in trust under the crown, pre- 
vious to the election itself. The peers were solicited to 
vote for this list without the liberty of making any altera- 
tion, and endeavors were used to engage peers to vote 
for this list by promise of pensions and offices, civil and 
militar} 7 , to themselves and their relations, and by actual 
promise and offers of sums of money. Several had received 
money, and releases of debts owing to the crown were 
granted to those who voted for this list. To render this 
transaction more infamous, a battalion of troops occupied 
the Abbey Court of Edinburgh, and continued there dur- 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSIUCK. 66 

ing the whole time of the election, while there was a con- 
siderable body lying within a mile of the city ready to 
advance on the signal." This petition, notwithstanding 
the gravity of its allegations, was quietly suppressed. 

Lady Sundon, "Woman of the Bedchamber and Mistress 
of the Robes to Queen Caroline, received from Lord Pom- 
fret jewelry of 1,400 value, for obtaining him the appoint- 
ment of Master of the Horse. 

With a Civil List of 800,000 a year, George II. was 
continually in debt, but an obedient Ministry and a cor- 
rupt Parliament never hesitated to discharge his Majesty's 
obligations out of the pockets of the unrepresented people. 
Lord Carteret, in 1733, speaking of a Bill before the House 
for granting the King half a million out of the Sinking 
Fund, said: "This Fund, my Lords, has been clandestinely 
defrauded of several small sums at different times, which 
indeed together amount to a pretty large sum ; but by this 
Bill it is to be openly and avowedly plundered of 500,000 
at once." 

On the 27th of April, 1736, Prince Frederick was married 
to the Princess Augusta, of Saxe Gotha, whom King 
George II. afterwards described as " cette diablesse Madame 
la Princesse" In August of the same year, a sharp open 
quarrel took place between the Prince of Wales and his 
parents, which, after some resumptions of pretended friend- 
liness, ended, on September 10, 1737, in the former being 
ordered by the King to quit St. James's palace, where he 
was residing. On the 22d of the preceding February, 
Pulteney had moved for an allowance of 100,000 a year 
to Prince Frederick. George II. refused to consent, on the 
ground that the responsibility to provide for the Prince of 
Wales rested with himself, and that " it would be highly 
indecorous to interfere between father and son." On the 
Prince of Wales taking up his residence at Norfolk House, 



34 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

" the King issued an order that no persons who paid their 
court to the Prince and Princess should be admitted to his 
presence." An official intimation of this was given to 
foreign ambassadors. 

On the 20th of November, 1737, Queen Caroline died, 
never having spoken to her son since the quarrel. " She 
was," says "Walpole, " implacable in hatred even to her 
djnng moments. She absolutely refused to pardon, or even 
to see, her son." The death-bed scene is thus spoken of by 
Thackeray : " There never was such a ghastly farce ; " and 
as sketched by Lord Hervey, it is a monstrous mixture of 
religion, disgusting comedy, and brutishness. " "We are 
shocked in the very chamber of death by the intrusion of 
egotism, vanity, buffoonery, and inhumanity. The King is 
at one moment dissolved in a mawkish tenderness, at 
another sunk into brutal apathy. He is at one moment all 
tears for the loss of one who united the softness and 
amiability of one sex to the courage and firmness of the 
other ; at another all fury because the object of his regrets 
cannot swallow, or cannot change her posture, or cannot 
animate the glassy fixedness of her eyes ; at one moment 
.he begins an elaborate panegjTic on her virtues, then breaks 
off into an enumeration of his own, by which he implies 
that her heart has been enthralled, and her intelligence 
awed. He then breaks off into a stupid story about a 
storm, for which his daughter laughs at him, and then while 
he is weeping over his consort's death-bed, she advises him 
to marry again ; and we are what the Queen was not 
startled by the strange reply, ' Non, faurai des mattresses,' 
with the faintly moaned out rejoinder, ' Cela, n'empeche 
pas.'" So does the Edinburgh reviewer, following Lord 
Hervey, paint the dying scene of the Queen of our second 
George. 

After the death of the Queen, the influence of the King's 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 35 

mistresses became supreme, and Sir R. Walpole, who, in 
losing Queen Caroline had lost Ms greatest hold over 
George, paid court to Lady Walmoden, in order to main- 
tain his weakened influence. In the private letters 
of the Pelham family, who succeeded to power soon 
after Walpole's fall, we find frequent mention of the 
Countess of Yarmouth as a power to be gained, a per- 
son to stand well with. " I read," says Thackeray, " that 
Lady Yarmouth (my most religious and gracious King's 
favorite) sold a bishopric to a clergyman for 5,000. (He 
betted her 5,000 that he would not be made a bishop, and 
he lost, and paid her.) "Was he the only prelate of his 
time led up by such hands for consecration? As I peep 
into George II.'s St. James's, I see crowds of cassocks rust- 
ling up the back-stairs of the ladies of the Court ; stealthy 
clergy slipping purses into their laps ; that godless old 
King yawning under his canopy in his Chapel Royal, as 
the chaplain before him is discoursing." 

On the 23d of May, 1738, George William Frederick, 
son of Frederick, and afterwards George HE., was born. 

In 1739 Lady Walmoden, who had up to this year 
remained in Hanover, was brought to England, and for- 
mally installed at the English Court. In this year we bound 
ourselves by treaty to pay 250,000 dollars per annum for 
three years to the Danish Government. "The secret 
motive of this treaty," says Mahon, "as of too many 
others, was not English, but Hanoverian ; and regarded the 
possession of a petty castle and lordship called Steinhorst. 
This castle had been bought from Holstein by George II. 
as Elector of Hanover, but the Danes claiming the sover- 
eignty, a skirmish ensued. . . . The well-timed treaty of 
subsidy calmed their resentment, and obtained the cession 
of their claim." Many urged, as in truth it was, that 
Steinhorst was bought with British money, and Boling- 



36 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

broke expressed his fear " that we shall throw the small 
remainder of our wealth where we have thrown so much 
already, into the German Gulf, which cries Give ! Give ! 
and is never satisfied." 

On the 19th of May, 1739, in accordance with the wish 
of the King, war was declared with Spain, nominally on 
the question of the right of search, but when peace was 
declared at Aix-la-Chapelle, this subject was never men- 
tioned. According to Dr. Colquhoun, this war cost the 
country, 46,418,680. 

George II. was, despite the provisions of the Act of 
Settlement, continually in Hanover. From 1729 to 1731, 
again in 1735 and 1736, and eight times between 1740 and 
1755. In 1745 he wished to go, but was not allowed. 

On the 2d of October, 1741 (the Pelham family having 
managed to acquire power bj r dint, as Lord Macaulay puts 
it, of more than suspected treason to their leader and col- 
league), the Duke of Newcastle, then Prune Minister, wrote 
his brother, Henry Pelham, as follows : " I must freely own 
to you, that I think the King's unjustifiable partiality for 
Hanover, to which he makes all other views and consider- 
ations subservient, has manifested itself so much that no 
man can continue in the active part of the administration 
with honor." The Duke goes on to describe the King's 
policy as " both dishonorable and fatal ; " and Henry Pel- 
ham, on the 8th of October, writes him baek that " a par- 
tiality to Hanover is general, is what all men of business 
have found great obstructions from, ever since this family 
have been upon the throne." Yet these are amongst the 
most prominent of the public defenders of the House of 
Brunswick, and a family which reaped great place and 
profit from the connection. 

Of the Duke of Newcastle, Lord Macaulay says : " No 
man was so unmercifully satirized. But 'in truth he was 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 37 

Mmself a satire ready made. All that the art of the satir- 
ist does for other men, nature had done for him. What- 
ever was absurd about him stood out with grotesque prom- 
inence from the rest of the character. He was a living, 
moving, talking caricature. His gait was a shuffling trot, 
his utterance a rapid stutter ; he was always in a hurry ; he 
was never in time ; he abounded in fulsome caresses and 
in hysterical tears. His oratory resembled that of Justice 
Shallow. It was nonsense, effervescent with animal spirits 
and impertinence. Of his ignorance many anecdotes re- 
main, some well authenticated, some probably invented at 
coffee-houses, but all exquisitely characteristic. ' Oh, yes, 
yes, to be sure ! Annapolis must be defended ; troops must 
be sent to Annapolis. Pray, where is Annapolis ? ' ' Cape 
Breton an island ! "Wonderful ! show it me in the map. 
So it is., sure enough. My dear sir, you always bring us 
good news. I must go and tell the King that Cape Breton 
is an island.' And this man was, during near thirty years, 
Secretary of State, and during near ten years First Lord 
of the Treasury ! His large fortune, his strong hereditary 
connection, his great Parliamentary interest, will not alone 
explain this extraordinary fact. His success is a signal 
instance of what may be effected by a man who devotes his 
whole heart and soul without reserve to one object. He 
was eaten up by ambition. His love of influence and au- 
thority resembled the avarice of the old usurer in the ' For- 
tunes of Nigel.' It was so intense a passion that it sup- 
plied the place of talents, that it inspired even fatuity with 
cunning. ' Have no money dealings with my father,' says 
Martha to Lord Grlenvarloch, ' for, dotard as he is, he will 
make an ass of you.' It was as dangerous to have any 
political connection with Newcastle as to buy and sell with 
old Trapbois. He was greedy after power with a greedi- 
ness all his own. He was jealous of all colleagues, and 



38 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

even of his own brother. Under the disguise of levity, he 
was false beyond all example of political falsehood. All 
the able men of his time ridiculed him as a dunce, a driveller, 
a child who never knew his own mind for an hour together ; 
and he overreached them all round." 

In 1742, under the opposition of Pulteney, the Tories 
called upon Paxton, the Solicitor to the Treasury, and 
Scrope, the Secretary to the Treasury, to account for the 
specific sum of 1,147,211, which it was proved they had re- 
ceived from the minister. No account was ever furnished. 
George Vaughan, a confidant of Sir Robert Walpole, was 
examined before the Commons as to a practice charged 
upon that minister, of obliging the possessor of a place or 
office to pay a certain sum out of the profits of it to some 
person or persons recommended by the minister. Vaughan, 
who does not appear to have ventured any direct denial, 
managed to avoid giving a categorical reply, and to get 
excused from answering on the ground that he might crim- 
inate himself. Agitation was commenced for the revival 
of Triennial Parliaments, for the renewal of the clause of 
the Act of Settlement, by which pensioners and placemen 
were excluded from the House of Commons, and for the 
abolition of standing armies in time of peace. The Whigs, 
however, successfully crushed out the whole of this agita- 
tion. Strong language was heard in the House of Com- 
mons, where Sir James Dashwood said that " it was no 
wonder that the people were then unwilling to support the 
Government, when a weak, narrow-minded prince occupied 
the throne." 

A very amusing squib appeared in 1742, when Sir Robert 
Walpole's power was giving way, partly under the bold at- 
tacks of the Tories, led by Cotton and Shippen ; partly 
before the malcontent Whigs under the guidance of Car- 
teret and Pulteney ; partly before the rising power of the 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 39 

young England party led by William Pitt ; and somewhat 
from the jealousy, if not treachery, of his colleague, the Duke 
of Newcastle. The squib pictures the King's embarrass- 
ment and anger at being forced to dismiss "Walpole, and to 
Carteret whom he Jias charged to form a ministry : 

" Quoth the King : ' My good lord, perhaps you've been told 
That I used to abuse you a little of old, 
But now bring whom you will, and eke turn away, 
Let but me and my money at Walmoden stay." 

Lord Carteret, explaining to the King whom he shall keep 
of the old ministry, includes the Duke of Newcastle : 

"Though Newcastle's false, as he's silly I know, 
By betraying old Eobin to me long ago, 
As well as all those who employed him before, 
Yet I leave him in place, but I leave him no power. 

" For granting his heart is as black as his hat, 
With no more truth in this than there's sense beneath that, 
Yet, as he's a coward, he'll shake when I frown ; 
You called him a rascal, I'll use him like one. 

"For your foreign affairs, howe'er they turn out, 
At least I'll take care you shall make a great rout ; 
Then cock your great hat, strut, bounce, and look bluff, 
For, though kick'd and cuff'd here, you shall there kick and cuffi, 

" That Walpole did nothing they all used to say, 
So I'll do enough, but I'll make the dogs pay ; 
Great fleets I'll provide, and great armies engage, 
Whate'er debts we make, or whate'er wars we wage ! 

" With cordials like these the monarch's new guest 
Reviv'd his sunk spirits, and gladdened his breast ; 
Till in rapture he cried, ' My dear Lord, you shall do 
Whatever you will give me troops to review.' " 

In 1743, King George II. actually tried to engage this 
country, by a private agreement, to pay 300,000 a year to 



40 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

the Queen of Hungary, " as long as war should continue, 
or the necessity of her affairs should require." The King, 
being in Hanover, sent over the treaty to England, with a 
warrant directing the Lords Justices to " ratify and con- 
firm it," which, however, they refused to do. On hearing 
that the Lord Chancellor refused to sanction the arrange- 
ment, King George H. threatened, through Earl Granville, 
to affix the Great Seal with his own hand. Ultimately the 
300,000 per annum was agreed to be paid so long as the 
war lasted, but this sum was in more than one instance 
exceeded. 

Although George II. had induced the country to vote 
such large sums to Maria Therese, the Empress-Queen, he 
nevertheless abandoned her in a most cowardly manner 
when he thought his Hanoverian dominions in danger, and 
actually treated with France without the knowledge or 
consent of his ministry. A rhyming squib, in which the 
King is termed the " Balancing Captain," from which we 
present the following extracts, will serve to show the feel- 
ing widely manifested in England at that time : 

" I'll tell you a story as strange as 'tis new, 
Which all who're concerned will allow to be true, 
Of a Balancing Captain, well known hereabouts, 
Returned home (God save him) a mere king of clouts. 

" This Captain he takes in a gold ballasted ship, 
Each summer to terra damnosa a trip, 
For which he begs, borrows, scrapes all he can get, 
And runs his poor owners most vijely in debt. 

" The last time he set out for this blessed place, 
He met them, and told them a most piteous case, 
Of a sister of his, who, though bred up at court, 
Was ready to perish for want of support. 

" This Hungary sister he then did pretend, 
Would be to bis owners a notable friend, 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 41 

If they would at that critical juncture supply her; 
They did but, alas ! all the fat's in the fire 1 " 

The ballad then suggests that the King, having got all 
the money possible, made a peace with the enemies of the 
Queen of Hungary, described in the ballad as the sister : 

"He then turns his sister adrift, and declares 
Her most mortal foes were her father's right heirs : 
' G d z ds ! ' cries the world, ' such a step was ne'er taken ! ' 
' Oh, oh ! ' says Moll Bluff, ' I have saved my own bacon. 

" ' Let France damn the Germans, and undamn the Dutch, 
And Spain on old England pish ever so much ; 
Let Russia bang Sweden, or Sweden bang that, 
I care not, by Robert, one Icicle of my hat ! 

" ' Or should my chous'd owners begin to look sour, 
I'll trust to mate Sob to exert his old power, 
Regit animos dictis, or numis with ease 
So, spite of your growling, I'll act as I please I ' " 

The British Nation, described as the owners, are cau- 
tioned to look into the accounts of their Captain, who is 
bringing them to insolvency : 

" This secret, however, must out on the day 
When he meets his poor owners to ask for his pay ; 
And I fear, when they come to adjust the account, 
A zero for balance will prove their amount." 

The final result of all these subsidy votes was to increase 
our national debt, up to the signing of the treaty of Aix- 
la-Chapelle, to 76,000,000 ; while the seven years' war, 
which came later, brought the debt to 133,000,000, not in- 
cluding in this the capitalized value of the terminable an- 
nuities. 

On November 22d, 1743, a caricature was published, 
which had a wide sale, and which represented the King as 



42 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK' 

a fat Hanoverian white horse riding to death a nearly 
starved British lion. 

In 1744, 200,000 was voted, which King George and 
Lord Carteret, who was called by William Pitt, his " Han- 
overian troop minister," had agreed to give the King of 
Sardinia. 40,000 was also voted for a payment made by 
the King to the Duke of Arenberg. This payment was 
denounced by Mr. Lyttelton as a dangerous misapplication 
of public money. 

The votes for foreign subsidies alone, in 1744, were 
691,426, while the Hanoverian soldiers cost us 393,773. 
The King actually tried in addition, in the month of Au- 
gust, to get a further subsidy for his friend, the Elector of 
Saxony, and another for the King of Poland, and this when 
Englishmen and Irishmen were lacking bread. Nor was 
even a pretence made in some instances of earning the 
money. 150,000 was paid this year to keep Prince 
Charles in Alsace, and the moment Austria got the money, 
Prince Charles was withdrawn, and Henry Pelham, writing 
to the Duke of Newcastle, says, " The same will be the 
case with every sum of money we advance. The allies will 
take it, and then act as suits their convenience and se- 
curity." In the four years from 1744 to 1747, both included, 
we paid 4,342,683 for foreign troops and subsidies, not 
including the Dutch and Hessians, whom we hired to put 
down the rebellion of 1745. In the case of the whole of 
this war, in which we subsidized all our allies except the 
Dutch, it is clear that the direct and sole blame rests upon 
the King, who cared nothing for English interests in the 
matter. When firmly remonstrated with by Lord Chancel- 
lor Hardwicke, his repty was what the Duke of Newcastle 
describes as " almost sullen silence." 

For the rebellion of 1745 which came so near being 
successful, and which would have thoroughly succeeded had 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 43 

the Pretender's son possessed any sort of ability as a leader 
there is little room to spare here. The attempt to sup- 
press it in its early stages is thus described in a Jacobite 
ballad : 

" Horse, foot, and dragoons, from lost Flanders they call, 
With Hessians and Danes, and the devil and all ; 
And hunters and rangers led by Oglethorpe ; 
And the Church, at the bum of the Bishop of York. 
And pray, who so fit to lead forth this parade, 
As the babe of Tangier, my old grandmother Wade? 
Whose cunning's so quick, but whose motion's so slow, 
That the rebels marched on, while he stuck in the snow." 

The hideously disgusting cruelties and horrible excesses 
committed by the infamous Duke of Cumberland, and the 
Hessians and Hanoverians under his command, in sup- 
pressing the rebellion after the battle of Culloden, are, 
alas ! too well known. Duncan Forbes, Lord President of 
the Court of Session, and a warm supporter of the Bruns- 
wicks, remonstrating with the Duke as to the latter's dis- 
regard of the laws of the country, his Royal Highness of 
Cumberland replied with an oath : " The laws of my coun- 
try, my lord ; I'll make a brigade give laws." Scotland 
has many reasons for loving the House of Brunswick. 
Lord Waldegrave, who strove hard to whitewash the Duke 
of Cumberland, says that " Frederick Prince of Wales gave 
too much credit to the most malignant and groundless accu- 
sations, by showing favor to every man who aspersed his 
brother's character." 

In 1747, 456,733 was voted by Parliament for the pay- 
ment of the King's debts. 

In 1748, considerable difficulty arose in consequence of 
the King's intrigues to obtain, at the expense of England, 
the Bishopric of Osnaburg as a princely establishment for 
his favorite son, the Duke of Cumberland, that pious prince, 



44 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

much esteemed in Scotland as " the butcher." The most 
open hostility subsisted between the Duke of Cumberland 
and Prince Frederick, and pamphleteering attacks on the 
former, for his brutality and excesses, were supposed to be 
encouraged by the Leicester House party. 

Amongst the curious scandals of 1749, it is stated that 
the King being present at a masked ball, at which Eliza- 
beth Chudleigh, afterwards Duchess of Kingston, figured 
as "La Belle Sauvage " in a close-fitting dress of flesh-col- 
ored silk, requested permission to place his hand on Miss 
Chudlcigh's breast. The latter replied that she would put 
the King's hand on a still softer place, and immediately 
raised it to his own royal forehead. 

On the 20th March, 1751, Frederick, Prince of Wales, 
died. The King, who received the news while playing 
cards with his mistress, Lady Yarmouth, and who had not 
spoken to his son for years, merely said, " Freddy is dead." 
On this subject Thackeray preserves for us the following 
epitaph : 

" Here lies Fred, 
Who was alive, and is dead. 
Had it been his father, 
I had much rather. 
Had it been his brother, 
Still better than another. 
Had it been his sister, 
No one would have missed her. 
Had it been the whole generation, 
Still better for the nation. 
But since 'tis only Fred, 
Who was alive, and is dead, 
There's no more to be said." 

In 1755 there was the second war, estimated to have 
cost 111,271,996. In this George II. pursued exactly the 
opposite course of policy to that taken by him in the pre- 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 45 

vious one. The war during the years following 1739 was 
for the humiliation of the King of Prussia ; the policy in 
the last war was to prevent his humiliation. Mr. Baxter 
estimates the debt (exclusive of annuities) at 133,000,000 ; 
Dr. Colquhoun, adding the value of the annuities, makes it 
146,682,843 at the conclusion of this war. 

Towards the close of the reign of George II., who died 
on October 25th, 1760, his Royal Highness the Duke of 
Cumberland, by an exhibition of great strategy, combined 
with much discretionary valor, succeeded in making peace 
on terms which ensured the repose of himself and his Han- 
overian forces during the remainder of the war. At home 
his Eoyal Highness was much attacked, some venturing to 
describe his personal conduct as cowardly, and his gener- 
alship as contemptible. It is a sufficient refutation of such 
a calumny to say that the Duke of Cumberland was as 
brave a soldier and as able a general as our present Com- 
mander-in-Chief, his Royal Highness the Duke of Cam- 
bridge. 

Lord Waldegrave, who wrote in favor of George II., ad- 
mits that the King " is accused by his ministers of being 
hasty and passionate when any measure is proposed which 
he does not approve of." That "too great attention to 
money seems to be his capital failing." And that " his 
political courage seems somewhat problematical." Philli- 
more says : "In public life he was altogether indifferent to 
the welfare of England, except as it affected his Electo- 
rate's or his own. Always purchasing concubines, he was 
always governed by his wife. In private life he was a 
gross lover, an unreasonable master, a coarsely unfaithful 
husband, an unnatural parent, and a selfish man." 

No more fitting conclusion can be found to this chapter 
than the following pregnant words from the pen of Lord 
Macaulay : "At the close of the reign of George H. the 



46 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

feeling of aversion with which the House of Brunswick had 
long been regarded by half the nation had died away ; but 
no feeling of affection to that house had yet sprung up. 
There was little, indeed, in the old King's character to in- 
spire esteem or tenderness. He was not our countryman. 
He never set foot on our soil till he was more than thirty 
years old. His speech bewraj^ed his foreign origin and 
breeding. His love for his native land, though the most 
amiable part of his character, was not likely to endear him 
to his British subjects. He was never so happy as when he 
could exchange St. James's for Heranhausen. Year after year 
our fleets were employed to convoy him to the Continent, 
and the interests of his kingdom were as nothing to him 
when compared with the interests of his Electorate. As to 
the rest, he had neither the qualities which make dulness 
respectable, nor the qualities which make libertinism attract- 
ive. He had been a bad son and a worse father, an unfaith- 
ful husband and an ungraceful lover. Not one magnanimous 
or humane action is recorded of him ; but many instances 
of meanness, and of a harshness which, but for the strong 
constitutional restraints under which he was placed, might 
have made the misery of his people." 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE REIGN OF GEORGE III. 

WHEN George H. died, his grandson and successor, 
Greorge HI., was twenty-two years of age. The Civil List 
of the new King was fixed at 800,000 a year, " a provis- 
ion," says Phillimore, in his " History of England," " that 
soon became inadequate to the clandestine purposes of 
George III., and for the purchase of the mercenary depend- 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 47 

ents, on the support of whom his unconstitutional proceed- 
ings obliged him to depend." The Civil List of George III. 
was not, however, really so large as that of her present 
Majesty. The Civil List disbursements included such items 
as Secret Service, now charged separately ; pensions and 
annuities, now charged separately ; diplomatic salaries, now 
forming distinct items ; fees and salaries of ministers and 
judges, now forming no part of the charge against the Civil 
List. So that though 924,041 was the Civil List of George 
III. four years after he ascended the throne, in truth to-day 
the Royal Family alone get much more than all the great 
offices and machinery of State then cost. The Royal Fam- 
ily at* the present time get from the country, avowedly and 
secretly, about one million sterling a year. 

" At the accession of George III.," says Thackeray, " the 
Patricians were yet at the height of their good fortune. 
Society recognized their superiority, which they themselves 
pretty calmly took for granted. They inherited not only 
titles and estates, and seats in the House of Peers, but 
seats in the House of Commons. There were a multitude of 
Government places, and not merely these, but bribes of 
actual 500 notes, which members of the House took not 
much shame in assuming. Fox went into Parliament at 
twenty, Pitt was just of age, his father not much older. It 
was the good time for Patricians." 

A change of political parties was imminent ; Whig rule 
had lasted seventy years, and England had become tolerably 
disgusted with the consequences. 

"Now that George II. was dead," says Macaulay, " a 
courtier might venture to ask why England was to become 

a party in a dispute between two German powers. A 

~ 
was it to her whether the House of Hapsburg or t 

of Brandenburg ruled in Silesia? Why were^jhe|( 
English regiments fighting on the Maine? Why 




48 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

Prussian battalions paid with English gold ? The great 
minister seemed to think it beneath him to calculate the 
price of victory. As long as the Tower guns were fired, as 
the streets were illuminated, as French banners were car- 
ried in triumph through London, it was to him matter of 
indifference to what extent the public burdens were aug- 
mented. Nay, he seemed to glory in the magnitude of 
those sacrifices which the people, fascinated by his eloquence 
and success, had too readily made, and would long and bit- 
terly regret. There was no check on waste or embezzle- 
ment. Our commissaries returned from the camp of Prince 
Ferdinand, to buy boroughs, to rear palaces, to rival the 
magnificence of the old aristocracy of the realm. Already 
had we borrowed, in four years of war, more than the most 
skilful and economical government would pay in forty 
years of peace." 

The Church allied itself with the Tories, who assumed the 
reins of government, and thenceforth totally forgot the views 
of liberty they had maintained when in opposition. The 
policy of all their succeeding legislation was that of mis- 
chievous retrogression ; they sought to excel the old Whigs 
in their efforts to consolidate the aristocracy at the expense 
of the people, 

" This reactionary movement," says Buckle, "was greatly 
aided by the personal character of George III. ; for he, 
being despotic as well as superstitious, was equally anxious 
to extend the prerogative, and strengthen the Church. 
Every liberal sentiment, everything approaching to reform, 
nay, even the mere mention of inquiry, was an abomination 
in the eyes of that narrow and ignorant Prince. Without 
knowledge, without taste, without even a glimpse of one of 
the sciences, or a feeling for one of the fine arts, education 
had done nothing to enlarge a mind .which nature had more 
tkan usually contracted. Totally ignorant of the history 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 49 

and resources of foreign countries, and barely knowing 
their geographical position, his information was scarcely 
more extensive respecting the people over whom he was 
called to rule. In that immense mass of evidence now 
extant, and which consists of every description of private 
correspondence, records of private conversation, and of 
public acts, there is not to be found the slightest proof that 
he knew any one of those numerous things which the gov- 
ernor of a country ought to know ; or, indeed, that he was 
acquainted with a single duty of his positioti, except the 
mere mechanical routine of ordinary business, which might 
have been effected by the lowest clerk in the meanest office 
in his kingdom. 

" He gathered round his throne that great party, who, 
clinging to the tradition of the past, have always made it 
their boast to check the progress of their age. During the 
sixty years of his reign, he, with the sole exception of Pitt, 
never willingly admitted to his councils a single man of 
great ability : not one whose name is associated with any 
measure of value, either in domestic or foreign policy. 
Even Pitt only maintained his position in the State by for- 
getting the lessons of his illustrious father, and abandoning 
those liberal principles in which he had been educatedj and 
with which he entered public life. Because George III. 
hated the idea of reform, Pitt not only relinquished what 
he had before declared to be absolutely necessary, but did 
not hesitate to persecute to death the party with whom he 
had once associated in order to obtain it. Because George 
III. looked upon slavery as one of those good old customs 
which the wisdom of his ancestors had consecrated, Pitt did 
not dare to use his power for procuring its abolition, but 
left to his successors the glory of destroying that infamous 
trade, on the preservation of which his royal master had 
set his heart. Because George III. detested the French, 



50 THE HOUSE OP BRUNSWICK. 

of whom he knew as much as he knew of the inhabitants 
of Kamschatka or Thibet, Pitt, contrary to his own judg- 
ment, engaged in a war with France, by which England 
was seriously imperilled, and the English people burdened 
with a debt that their remotest posterity will be unable to 
pay. But, notwithstanding all this, when Pitt, only a few 
years before his death, showed a determination to concede 
to the Irish a small share of their undoubted rights, the 
King dismissed him from office, and the King's friends, as 
they were csflled, expressed their indignation at the pre- 
sumption of a minister who could oppose the wishes of so 
benign and gracious a master. And when, unhappily for 
his own fame, this great man determined to return to 
power, he could only recover office by conceding that very 
point for which he had relinquished it ; thus setting the 
mischievous example of the minister of a free country sac- 
rificing his own judgment to the personal prejudices of the 
reigning sovereign. As it was hardly possible to find other 
ministers who to equal abilities would add equal subservi- 
ence, it is not surprising that the highest offices were con- 
stantly filled with men of notorious incapacity. Indeed, 
the King seemed to have an instinctive antipathy to every- 
thing great and noble. During the reign of George II. the 
elder Pitt had won for himself a reputation which covered 
the world, and had carried to an unprecedented height the 
glories of the English name. He, however, as the avowed 
friend of popular rights, strenuously opposed the despotic 
principles of the Court ; and for this reason he was hated by 
George III. with a hatred that seemed barely compatible 
with a sane mind. Fox was one of the greatest statesmen 
of the 18th century, and was better acquainted than any 
other with the character and resources of those foreign 
nations with which our interests were intimately connected. 
To this rare and important knowledge he added a sweet- 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 51 

ness and amenity of temper which extorted the praises even 
of his political opponents. But he, too, was the steady 
supporter of civil and religious liberty ; and he, too, was so 
detested by George III., that the King, with his own hand, 
struck his name out of the list of Privy Councillors, and 
declared that he would rather abdicate the throne than 
admit him to a share in the government. 

" While this unfavorable change was taking place in the 
sovereign and ministers of the country, a change equally 
unfavorable was being effected in the second branch of the 
imperial legislature. Until the reign of George III. the 
House of Lords was decidedly superior to the House of 
Commons in the liberality and general accomplishments of 
its members. It is true that in both Houses there prevailed 
a spirit which must be called narrow and superstitious if 
tried by the larger standard of the present age. 

" The superiority of the Upper House over the Lower 
was, on the whole, steadily maintained during the reign of 
George II., the ministers not being anxious to strengthen 
the High Church party in the Lords, and the King himself 
so rarely suggesting fresh creations as to cause a belief that 
he particularly disliked increasing their numbers. It was 
reserved for George IH., by an unsparing use of his prerog- 
ative, entirely to change the character of the Upper House, 
and thus lay the foundation for that disrepute into which, 
since then, the peers have been constantly falling. The 
creations he made were numerous beyond all precedent, 
their object evidently being to neutralize the liberal spirit 
hitherto prevailing, and thus turn the House of Lords into 
an engine for resisting the popular wishes, and stopping the 
progress of reform. How completely this plan succeeded 
is well known to the readers of our history ; indeed, it was 
sure to be successful considering the character of the men 
who were promoted. They consisted almost entirely of 



52 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

two classes : of country gentlemen, remarkable for nothing 
but their wealth, and the number of votes their wealth ena- 
bled them to control ; and of mere lawyers, who had risen 
to judicial appointments partly from their professional 
learning, but chiefly from the zeal with which they repressed 
the popular liberties, and favored the royal prerogative. 

" That this is no exaggerated description may be ascer- 
tained by any one who will consult the lists of the new 
peers made by George III. 

" Here and there we find an eminent man, whose public 
services were so notorious that it was impossible to avoid 
rewarding them ; but, putting aside those who were in a 
manner forced upon the sovereign, it would be idle to deny 
that the remainder, and of course the overwhelming major- 
ity, were marked by a narrowness and iUiberality of senti- 
ment which, more than anything else, brought the whole 
order into contempt. No great thinkers, no great writers, 
no great orators, no great statesmen, none of the true 
nobility of the land, were to be found among the spurious 
nobles created by George III." 

In the early part of his reign, George III. (whom even 
the courtly Alison pictures as having " little education and 
no great acquired information") was very much under the 
influence of his mother, who had, previously to his being 
King, often spoken of her son with contempt. The Prin- 
cess of Wales, in turn, was almost entirely guided by Lord 
Bute, represented by scandal, says Macaulay, as " her 
favored lover." " Of this attachment," says Dr. Doran, 
" the Prince of Wales himself is said to have had full 
knowledge, and did not object to Lord Bute taking soli- 
tary walks with the Princess, while he could do the same 
with Lady Middlesex." The most infamous stories were 
circulated in the Whisperer, and other journals of the time, 
as to the nature of the association between the Scotch Peer 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 53 

and the King's mother, and its results. Phillimore regards 
the Princess of Wales as " before and after her husband's 
death the mistress of Lord Bute." The Princess Dowager 
seems to have been a hard woman. Walpole tells us how, 
when the Princess Dowager reproved one of her maids of 
honor for irregular habits, the latter replied, "Madame, 
chacun a son But." " Seeing," says Thackeray, " the } 7 oung 
Duke of Gloucester silent and unhappy once, she sharply 
asked him the cause of his silence. ' I am thinking,' said 
the poor child. ' Thinking, sir ! and of what ? ' 'I am 
thinking if ever I have a son, I will not make him so 
unhappy as you make me.'" 

John Stuart, Earl of Bute, shared with William Pitt and 
John Wilkes the bulk of popular attention during the first 
ten years of the King's reign. Bute had risen rapidly to 
favor, having attracted the attention of the Princess Dow- 
ager at some private theatricals, and he became by her 
influence Groom of the Stole. His poverty and ambition 
made him grasp at power, both against the great Commoner 
and the Pelham faction ; and a lady observer described the 
great question of the day, in 1760, as being whether the 
King would burn in his chamber Scotch coal, Newcastle 
coal, or Pitt coal. Macaulay, who seems to have followed 
Lord Waldegrave's " Memoirs," says of Bute : " A hand- 
some leg was among his chief qualifications for the stage. 
. . . His understanding was narrow, his manners cold and 
haughty." His qualifications for the part of a statesman 
were best described by Prince Frederick, who often in- 
dulged in the unprincely luxury of sneering at his depend- 
ents. " Bute," said his Royal Highness, " you are the 
very man to be envoy at some small proud German Court) 
where there is nothing to do." Phillimore speaks of Lord 
Bute as " a minion raised by Court favor to a post where 



54 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

his ignorance, mean understanding, and disregard of Eng- 
lish honor, became national calamities." 

The King's speech on his accession is said to have been 
drawn up by Bute, who did not then belong to the Council, 
but the terms being vehemently objected to by Pitt, it was 
actually altered after delivery, and before it found its way. 
to the printer. 

Whatever were the relations between Lord Bute and the 
Princess Dowager, it is quite certain that on more than one 
occasion George III. condescended not only to prevaricate, 
but to lie as to the influence exercised by Lord Bute. It 
is certain, from the " Memoirs " of Earl Waldegrave, and 
other trustworthy sources, that the Scotch Earl, after being 
hissed out of office by the people, was still secretly con- 
sulted by the King, who, like a truly Royal Brunswick, did 
not hesitate to use falsehood on the subject even to his own 
ministers. Philliniore, in remarkably strong language, 
describes George III. as " an ignorant, dishonest, obsti- 
nate, narrow-minded bo3 r , at that very moment the tool of 
an adulteress and her paramour." The Duke of Bedford has 
put upon record, in his correspondence, not only his con- 
viction that the King behaved unfaithfully to his ministers, 
but asserts that he told him so to his face. 

In 1759, George was married to Hannah Lightfoot, a 
Quakeress, in Curzon Street Chapel, May Fair, in the 
presence of his brother, Edward, Duke of York. Great 
doubt has, however, been cast on the legality of this mar- 
riage, as it would, if in all respects valid, have rendered 
null as a bigamous contract the subsequent marriage en- 
tered into by the King. Dr. Doran says that the Prince of 
Wales, afterwards George IV., when needing money in 
later years, used this Lightfoot marriage as a threat against 
his royal parents that is, that he threatened to expose 
his mother's shame and his own illegitimacy if the Queen 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSMPICK. 55 

would not use her influence with Pitt. Glorious family, 
these Brunswicks ! Walpole affirms that early in his reign 
George III. admitted to his uncle, the Duke of Cumber- 
land, "that it had not been common in their family to live 
well together." 

On the 18th of September, 1761, George was married to the 
Princess Charlotte Sophia, of Mecklenburgh Strelitz, Han- 
nah Lightfoot being still alive. Of the new Queen, Philli- 
more says : " If to watch over the education of her children 
and to promote their happiness be any part of a woman's 
duty, she has little claim to the praises that have been so 
lavishly bestowed on her as a model of domestic virtue. 
Her religion was displayed in the scrupulous observance 
of external forms. Repulsive in her aspect, grovelling in 
her instincts, sordid in her habits ; steeped from the cradle 
in the stupid pride which was the atmosphere of her stolid 
and most insignificant race ; inexorably severe' to those 
who yielded to temptation from which she was -protected, 
not more by her situation and the vigilance of those around 
her, than by the extreme homeliness of her person ; bigoted, 
avaricious, unamiable to brutality, she added dulness and 
gloom even to the English court.? 

In 1761, the Duke of Bedford was Lord Lieutenant of 
Ireland ; that unfortunate country, for centuries governed 
by men who tried to exterminate its natives, and which was 
used under the first three reigns of the House of Brunswick 
as a sponge out of which, regardless of much bloodshed 
and more misery, gold could be squeezed for the dependents 
and relatives of aristocrats in office. His reign of office in 
Ireland was brief. "Walpole says that " the ill-humor of 
the country determined the Duke of Bedford to quit the 
Government, after having amply gratified his family and 
dependents with pensions." It was this Duke of Bedford 
who consented that the Princess of Hesse should have a 



56 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

pension of 6,000 a year out of the Irish revenues, and 
who gave to his own relative, the Lady Betty Waldegrave, 
800 a year from the same source. Shortly after this, 
Prince Charles, of Strelitz, the Queen's brother, received 
30,000 towards the payment of the debts he owed in 
Germany. This 30,000 was nominally given by the King 
out of the Civil List, but was really paid by the nation 
when discharging the Civil List debts which it increased. 
On the motion of Lord Barrington, 400,000 subsidy was 
granted this year to the Landgrave of Hesse, under a secret 
treaty made by George II., without the knowledge or con- 
sent of Parliament, and 300,000 was also voted to the 
Chancery of Hanover for forage for Hanoverian, Prussian, 
and Hessian Cavalry. 

On August 12th, 1762, George, Prince of Wales, was 
born ; and in the same year, with the direct connivance of 
George III., the peace of Paris was made ; a peace as dis- 
graceful to England, under the circumstances, as can pos- 
sibly be imagined. Lord Bute, who was roundly charged 
with receiving money from France for his services, and this 
with the knowledge of the mother of George IH., most 
certainly communicated to the French minister " the most 
secret councils of the English Cabinet." This was done 
with the distinct concurrence of George III., who was him- 
self bribed by the immediate evacuation of his Hanoverian 
dominions. In the debate in the Lords on the preliminaries 
of peace, Horace Walpole tells us that " the Duke of Graf- 
ton, with great weight and greater warmth, attacked them 
severely, and looking full on Lord Bute, imputed to him 
corruption and worse arts." Count Virri, the disreputable 
agent employed in this matter by the King and Lord Bute, 
was rewarded under the false name of George Charles with 
a pension of 1,000 a year out of the Irish revenues. 
Phillimore may well declare that Lord Bute was " a minion, 



THIS HOUSE OF SHUNS WICK. 57 

raised by court favor to a post where his ignorance, mean 
understanding, and disregard of English honor, became 
national calamities." To carry the approval of this peace 
of Paris through the Commons, Fox, afterwards Lord Hol- 
land, was purchased with a most lucrative appointment, 
although only shortly before he had published a print of 
George, with the following lines, referring to the Princess 
Dowager and Lord Bute, written under the likeness : 



"Son of a 

I could say more." 

To gain a majority in the House of Commons, Walpole 
tells us " that a shop was publicly opened at the pay office, 
whither the members flocked and received the wages of their 
venality in bank bills even to so low a sum as 200, for 
their votes on the treaty. 25,000 was thus issued in one 
morning." Lord Chesterfield speaks of the large sums dis- 
bursed by the King " for the hire of Parliament men." 

As an illustration of the unblushing corruption of the 
age, the following letter from Lord Saye and Sele to Mr. 
Grenville, then Prime Minister of England, tells its own 
terrible tale : 

"November 26th, 1763. 

"HONORED SIR: I am very much obliged to you for 
that freedom of converse you this morning indulged me in, 
which I prize more than the lucrative advantage I then re- 
ceived. To show the sincerity of my words (pardon, sir, 
the over-niceness of my disposition), I return enclosed the 
bill for 300 you favored me with, as good manners would 
not permit my refusal of it when tendered by you. 
" Your most obliged and obedient servant, 

" SAYE AND SELE. 

" As a free horse needs no spur, so I stand in need of no 



"58 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

inducement or douceur to lend my small assistance to the 
King or his friends in the present Administration." 

That this was part of the general practice of the Govern- 
ment under George III. may be seen by the following ex- 
tract from an infamous letter written about fifteen years 
later by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland : " No man can see 
the inconvenience of increasing the Peers more forcibly 
than myself, but the recommendation of many of those 
persons submitted to his Majesty for that honor, arose from 
the engagements taken up at the press of the. moment to 
rescue questions upon which the English Government were 
very particularly anxious. My sentiments cannot but be 
the same with reference to the Privy Council and pensions, 
and I had not contracted any absolute engagements of rec- 
ommendations either to ' peerage or pension, till difficulties 
arose which necessarily occasioned so much anxiety in his 
Majesty's Cabinet, that I must have been culpable in neg- 
lecting any possible means to secure a majority in the House 
of Commons." 

A good story is told of the great Commoner Pitt's repar- 
tee to Fox (afterwards Lord Holland), in one of the debates 
of this period. " Pitt," says the London Chronicle, " in 
the heat of his declamation, proceeded so far as to attack 
the personal deformity of Fox ; and represented his gloomy 
and lowering countenance, with the penthouse of his eye- 
brows, as Churchill phrases it, as a true introduction of his 
dark and double mind. Mr. Fox was nettled at this per- 
sonal reflection, and the more so, perhaps, that it was as 
just as it was eutting. He therefore got up, and after in- 
veighing bitterly against the indecency of his antagonist, 
in descending to remark on his bodily defects, observed 
that his figure was such as God Almighty had made it, and 
he could not look otherwise ; and then, in a tone between 




THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

the plaintive and indignant, cried out, ' How, gentlemen, 
shall I look ? ' Most of the members, apprehending that Mr. 
Pitt had gone rather too far, were inclined to think that Mr. 
Fox had got the better of him. But Mr. Pitt started up, 
and with one of those happy turns, in which he so much 
excels, silenced his rival, and made him sit down with a 
countenance, if possible more abashed than formerly. 
' Look I Sir,' said he ' look as you cannot look, if you 
would look as you dare not look, if you could look like 
an honest man.' " 

In the London Chronicle for March, 1763, we find bitter 
complaints that since 1760, " every obsolete, Useless place 
has been revived, and every occasion of increasing salaries 
seized with eagerness," and that a great Whig leader " has 
just condescended to stipulate for an additional salary, 
without power, as the price of his support to the Tory Gov- 
ernment." 

In March, 1763, George III. gave four ships of war to 
the King of Sardinia at the national expense, and in Au- 
gust appears to have given a fifth vessel. 

On the 23d of April, 1763, No. 45 of the North Briton, 
a journal which had been started in opposition to Lord 
Bute's paper, the Briton, was published, severely criticising 
the King's speech, and warmly attacking Lord Bute. This 
issue provoked the ministers to a course of the utmost ille- 
gality. A general warrant to seize all persons concerned 
in the publication of the North Briton, without specifying 
their names, was immediately issued by the Secretary of 
State, and a number of printers and publishers were placed 
in custody, some of whom were not at all concerned in the 
obnoxious publication. Late on the night of the 29th of 
April, the messengers entered the house of John Wilkes, 
M.P. for Aylesbury (the author of the article in question), 
and produced their warrant, with which he refused to com- 



60 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

ply. On the following morning, however, he was carried 
before the Secretary of State, and committed a close pris- 
oner to the Tower, his papers being previous^ seized and 
sealed, and all access to his person strictly prohibited. The 
warrant was clearly an illegal one, and had only been pre- 
viously resorted to in one or two instances, and under very 
extraordinary circumstances, of which there were none in 
the present case. Wilkes's friends immediately obtained a 
writ of habeas corpus, which the ministers defeated by a 
mean subterfuge ; and it was found necessary to obtain a 
second ^before they could bring the prisoner before the Court 
of King's Bench, by which he was set at liberty, on the 
ground of his privilege as a Member of Parliament. He 
then opened an angry correspondence, followed by actions 
at law, against the Secretaries of State, on the seizure of 
his papers, and for the wrongful arrest. These actions 
abated, although in the one for the seizure of the papers a 
verdict was given for 1,000 damages and costs. But in 
the mean time the Attorney-General had been directed to 
institute a prosecution against Wilkes, in the King's Bench, 
for libel, and the King had ordered him to be deprived of 
his commission as Colonel in the Buckinghamshire Militia. 
The King further exhibited his resentment by depriving 
Lord Temple of the Lord-Lieutenancy of the same county, 
and striking his name out of the Council-book, for an ex- 
pression of personal sympathy which had fallen from him. 
Worse than all, this King George III. actually deprived 
General A'Court, M.P. for Heytesbury, of his commission 
as colonel of the llth Dragoons, for having voted that the 
arrest of Wilkes was a breach of privilege. He also caused 
it to be intimated to General Conway, " that the King can- 
not trust his army in the hands of a man who votes in Par- 
liament against him." 

The House of Commons ordered the North Briton to be 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 61 

burned by the common hangman ; but when the authorities 
attempted to carry out the sentence, the people assembled, 
rescued the number, and burned instead a large jack-boot, 
the popular hieroglyphic for the unpopular minister. 

Amongst the many rhymed squibs the following is worth 
repetition : 

" Because the North Briton inflamed the whole nation, 
To flames they commit it to show detestation ; 
But throughout old England how joy would have spread, 
Had the real North Briton been burnt in its stead ! " 

The North Briton of the last line is, of course, the Scotch 
Earl Bute. 

As an illustration of the then disgraceful state of the 
English law, it is enougth to notice that Lord Halifax, 
the Secretary of State, by availing himself of his 
privileges as a peer, managed to delay John Wilkes 
in his action from .June, 1763, to November, 1764 ; 
and then, Wilkes having been outlawed, the noble 
Earl appeared and pleaded the outlawry as a bar to further 
proceedings. Ultimately, after five years' delay, "Wilkes 
annulled the outlawry, and recovered 4,000 damages 
against Lord Halifax. For a few months Wilkes was the 
popular idol, and, had he been a man of real earnestness and 
integrity, might have taken a permanently leading position 
in the State. 

In August, 1763, Frederick, Duke of York, was born. 
He was created Prince Bishop of Osnaburg before he could 
speak. The King and Queen were much dissatisfied be- 
cause the clergy of the diocese, who did not dispute the 
baby bishop's ability to attend to the souls of his flock, yet 
refused to entrust to him the irresponsible guardianship of 
the episcopal funds. This bishopric had actually been kept 
vacant by the King nearly three years, in order that he 



62 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

might not give it to the Duke of York or Duke of Cumber- 
land. The income was about 25,000 a year, and it was to 
secure this Prince Bishopric for the Duke of Cumberland 
that George II. burdened the country with several subsidies 
to petty European sovereigns. 

The King's sister, Augusta, was, like the rest of the 
Brunswick family, on extremely bad terms with her mother, 
the Princess of Wales. The Princess Augusta was married 
on January 16th, 1764, to the hereditary Prince of Bruns- 
wick, who received 80,000, besides 8,000 a year for 
becoming the husband of one of our Royal Family. In 
addition to this, George III. and Queen Charlotte insulted 
the newly-married couple, who returned the insult with 
interest. Pleasant people, these Brunswicks ! 

In March, 1764, the first steps were taken in the en- 
deavor to impose taxes on the American colonies, an 
endeavor which at length resulted in their famous rebellion. 
The commanders of our ships of war on the American coast 
were sworn in to act as revenue officers, the consequence of 
which was the frequently illegal seizures of ships and car- 
goes without any means of redress for the Americans in 
their own colony. As though to add to the rising disaflec- 
'tion, Mr. Grenville proposed a new stamp-tax. As soon 
as the Stamp Act reached Boston, the ships in the harbor 
hung their colors half-mast high, the bells were rung muf- 
fled, the Act of Parliament was reprinted with a death's 
head for title, and sold in the streets as the " Folly of Eng- 
land and Ruin of America." The Americans refused to 
use stamped paper. The Government distributors of 
stamps were either forced to return to England, or were 
obliged to renounce publicly and upon oath their official 
employment ; and, when the matter was again brought before 
the English House of Commons, Pitt denied the right of 
Parliament to levy taxation on persons who had no right 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 63 

to representation, and exclaimed : " I rejoice that America 
has resisted ; three millions of people so dead to all feel- 
ings of liberty as voluntarily to submit to be slaves, would 
have been fit instruments to make slaves of all the rest." 
The supporters of the Government actually advanced the 
ridiculously absurd and most monstrous pretension that 
America was in law represented in Parliament as part of 
the manor of East Greenwich. 

The Earl of Abercorn and Lord Harcourt appear to have 
been consulted by the Queen as to the effect of the previ- 
ous marriage of George III. with Hannah Lightfoot, who 
seems to have been got rid of by some arrangement for a 
second marriage between her and a Mr. Axford, to whom 
a sum of money was paid. It is alleged that this was done 
without the knowledge of the King, who entreated Lord 
Chatham to discover where the Quakeress had gone. No 
fresh communication, however, took place between George 
III. and Hannah Lightfoot ; and the King's first attack of 
insanity, which took place in 1764, is strongly suggested to 
have followed the more than doubts as to the legality of 
the second marriage and the legitimacy of the Royal Fam- 
ily. Hannah Lightfoot died in the winter of 1764, and in 
the early part of the year 1765, the King being then scarcely 
sane, a second ceremony of marriage with the Queen was 
privately performed by the Rev. Dr. Wilmot at Kew palace. 
Hannah Lightfoot left children by George III., but of these 
nothing is known. 

In the winter of 1764, and spring of 1765, George III. 
was, in diplomatic language, laboring under an indisposi- 
tion ; in truth, he was mad. Her present Gracious Majesty 
often labors under an indisposition, but no loyal subject 
would suggest any sort of doubt as to her mental condi- 
tion. A Bill was introduced in 1764 in the House of Lords, 
to provide for a Regency in case of the recurrence of any 



64 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

similar attack. In the discussion on this Bill, a doubt 
arose as to who were to be regarded as the Royal Family ; 
fortunately, the Law Lords limited it to the descendants of 
George II. If a similar definition prevailed to-day, we 
should, perhaps, not be obliged to pay the pensions to the 
Duke of Cambridge and Princess Mary, which they at pres 
ent receive as members of the Royal Family. 

On the 80th of October, 1765, William, Duke of Cumber- 
land, the King's uncle, died. Dr. Doran says of him : 
" As he grew in manhood, his heart became hardened ; he 
had no affection for his family, nor fondness for the army, 
for whichhe affected attachment. When his brother (Prince 
Frederick) died, pleasure, not pain, made his heart throb, 
as he sarcastically exclaimed, ' It's a great blow to the 
country, but I hope it \nll recover in time.' He was the 
author of what was called ' the bloody mutiny act.' ' He 
was dissolute and a gambler.' After the ' dis -rrceful sur- 
render of Hanover and the infamous convention of Klostcr- 
seven,' his father George II. said of him, ' Behold the son 
who has ruined me, and disgraced himself.'" His own 
nephew, George III., believed the Duke to be capable of 
murder. The Dukes of Cumberland in this Brunswick 
family have had a most unfortunate reputation. 

In 1766, William Henry, Duke of Gloucester, brother of 
the King, married Maria, Countess-Dowager of Walde- 
grave. This marriage was at the time repudiated by the 
rest of the Roj^al Family. 

In October of the same year Caroline Matilda, the King's 
sister, married Christian, King of Denmark, an unfeeling, 
dissolute brute. Our Princess, who lived very unhappily, 
was afterwards accused of adultery, and rescued from pun- 
ishment by a British man-of-war. 

In the autumn of 1766, in consequence of the high price 
of provisions and taxes, large gatherings took place in 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 65 

many parts of the kingdom ; these assemblages were dis- 
persed with considerable loss of life, of course by the mili- 
tary, which the House of Brunswick was not slow to use in 
checking political manifestations. At Derby the people 
were charged by the cavalvy, at Colton eight were shot 
dead, in Gloucestershire many lives were lost ; in fact, from 
Exeter to Berwiqk-on-Tweed there was one ferment of dis- 
content and disaffection. The people were heavily taxed, 
the aristocracy corrupt and careless. As an instance of 
the madness of the governing classes, it is sufficient to 
point out that in 1767, while taxation was increasing, the 
landed gentry, who were rapidly appropriating common 
lands under Private Enclosure Acts, most audaciously 
reduced the land tax by one-fourth. During the first thirty- 
seven years of the reign of George III., there were no less 
than 1,532 Enclosure Acts passed, affecting in all 2,804,197 
acres of land filched from the nation by a "few families. 
Wealth took and poverty lost ; riches got land without 
burden, and labor inherited burden in lieu of land. It is 
worth notice that in the early part of the reign of George 
III., land yielding about a sixth or seventh of its present 
rental, paid the same nominal tax that it does to-day, the 
actual amount paid at the present time being however 
smaller through redemption ; and yet then the annual inter- 
est on the National Debt was under 4,500,000, while to-day 
it is over 26,000,000. Then the King's Civil List covered 
all the expenses of our State ministers and diplomatic rep- 
resentatives ; to-day, an enormous additional sum is re- 
quired, and a Prime Minister professing economy, and well 
versed in history, has actually the audacity to pretend that 
the country gains by its present Civil List arrangement. 

In 1769 George III. announced to his faithful Commons 
he owed half a million. John Wilkes and a few others 
protested, but the money was voted. 



GG THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

Iii 1770 King G-eorge III. succeeded in making several' 
buttons at Kew, and as this is, as far as I am aware, the 
most useful work of his life, I desire to give it full promi- 
nence. His son, afterwards George IV., made a shoebuckle. 
No other useful product has resulted directly from the efforts 
of any male of the family. 

In 1770 Henry, Duke of Cumberland, the King's brother, 
was sued by Lord Grosvenor for crim. con., and had to pay 
10,000 damages. This same Henry, in the following year, 
went through the form of marriage with a Mrs. Horton, 
which marriage, being repudiated by the Court, troubled 
him but little, and in the lifetime of the lady contracted a 
second alliance, which gave rise to the famous Olivia Serres 
legitimacy issue. 

The Royal Marriage Act, a most infamous measure for 
ensuring the perpetuation of vice, and said to be the result 
of the Lightfoot experience, was introduced to Parliament 
by a message from George III., on the 20th February, 
1772, twelve days after the death of the Princess-Dowager, 
of "Wales. George III. wrote to Lord North on the 26th 
February : " I expect every nerve to be strained to carry 
the Bill. It is not a question relating to the Administra- 
tion, but personally to myself, therefore I have a right to 
expect a hearty support from every one in my service, and 
I shall remember defaulters." 

In May, 1773, the East India Company, having to come 
before Parliament for borrowing powers, a select committee 
was appointed, whose inquiries laid open cases of rapacity 
and treachery involving the highest personages, and a res- 
olution was carried in the House of Commons affirming that 
Lord Clive had dishonorably possessed himself of 234,000 
at the time of the deposition of Surajah Dowlah, and the 
establishment of Meer Jaffier. Besides this, it was proved 
that Lord Clive received several other large sums in sue- 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 67 

ceeding years. Phillimore describes this transaction, in 
terrific language, as one of " disgusting and sordid turpi- 
tude," declaring that " individual members of the English 
Government were to be paid for their treachery by a hire, 
the amount of which is almost incredible." A few years 
after this exposure, Lord Clive committed suicide. 

On the 18th of December, 1773, the celebrated cargoes of 
tea were thrown over in Boston Harbor. The tea duty was 
a trifling one, but was unfortunately insisted upon by the 
King's Government as an assertion of the right of the Brit- 
ish Parliament to tax the unrepresented American colonies, 
a right the colonists strenuously and successfully denied. 

The news of the firm attitude of the Bay State colonists 
arrived in England early in March, 1774, and Lord North's 
Government, urged by the King, first deprived Boston of 
her privileges as a port; secondly, took away from the 
State of Massachusetts the whole of the executive powers 
granted by the charter of "William III., and vested the nom- 
ination of magistrates of every kind in the King, or royally- 
appointed Governor ; and thirdly, carried an enactment 
authorizing persons accused of political offences committed 
in Boston to be sent home to England to be tried. 

These monstrous statutes provoked the most decided 
resistance ; all the other American colonists joined with 
Boston, and a solemn league and covenant was entered into 
for suspending all commercial incercourse with Great Brit- 
ain until the obnoxious acts were repealed. On the 5th of 
Sept., 1774, a congress of fifty-one representatives from 
twelve old colonies assembled in Philadelphia. The instruc- 
tions given to them disclaimed every idea of independence, 
recognized the constitutional authority of the mother coun- 
try, and acknowledged the prerogatives of the crown ; but 
unanimously declared that they would never give up the 
rights and liberties derived to them from their ancestors as 



68 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

British subjects, and pronounced the late acts relative to the 
colony of Massachusetts Bay to be unconstitutional, oppres- 
sive and dangerous. The first public act of the congress 
was a resolution declarative of their favorable disposition 
towards the colony above mentioned ; and, by subsequent 
resolutions, they formally approved the opposition it had 
given to the obnoxious acts, and. declared that, if an attempt 
were made to carry them into execution by force, the colony 
should be supported by all America. 

The following extract is from the " Address of the Twelve 
United Provinces to the Inhabitants of Great Britain," 
when force was actually used : " We can retire beyond 
the reach of your navy, and, without any sensible diminu- 
tion of the necessaries of life, enjoy a luxury, which from 
that period you will want the luxury of being free" 

On the 16th of November, 1775, Edmund Burke proposed 
the renunciation on the part of Great Britain of the exer- 
cise of taxation in America, the repeal of the obnoxious 
duty on tea, and a general pardon for past political offenders. 
This was directly opposed by the King, who had lists 
brought to him of how the members spoke and voted, and 
was negatived in the House of Commons by 210 votes 
against 105. On the 20th November, after consultation 
with George HE., Lord North introduced a Bill by which all 
trade and commerce with the thirteen United colonies 
were interdicted. It authorized the seizure, whether in 
harbor or on the high seas, of all vessels laden with Ameri- 
can property, and by a cruel stretch of refined tyranny it 
rendered all persons taken on board American vessels 
liable to be entered as sailors on board British ships of 
war, and to serve (if required) against their own coun- 
trymen. About the same time, as we learn by a " secret " 
dispatch from Lord Dartmouth to General Howe, the King 
had been unmanly enough to apply to the Czarina of Rus- 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNS\VICK. 69 

sia for the loan of 20,000 Russian soldiers to enable hirn to 
crush his English subjects in the American colonies. As 
yet the Americans had made no claim for independence. 
They were only petitioners for justice. 

In order to crush out the spirit of liberty in the American 
colonies, the Government of George III., in February, 
1776, hired 17,000 men from the Landgrave and Heredi- 
tary Prince of Hesse Cassel, and from the Duke of Bruns- 
wick. Besides these, there were levies of troops out of 
George III.'s Hanoverian dominions, and that nothing 
might be wanting to our glory, the King's agents stirred 
up the Cherokee and Creek Indians to scalp, ravish, and 
plunder the disaffected colonists. Jesse -says : " The newly 
arrived troops comprised several thousand kidnapped Ger- 
man soldiers, whom the cupidity of the Duke of Brunswick, 
of the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, and other German 
Princes, had induced to let out for hire to the British 
Government. . . . Frederick of Prussia not only denounced 
the traffic as a most scandalous one, but wherever, it is 
said, the unfortunate hirelings had occasion to march 
through any part of his dominions, used to levy a toll upon 
them, as if they had been so many head of bullocks. . . . 
Thej 7 had been sold, he said, as cattle, and therefore he 
was entitled to exact the toll." 

The consequence of all this was, on the 4th of July, 1776, 
the famous declaration of the American Congress. " The 
history of the reigning sovereign, they said, was a history 
of repeated injuries and usurpations. So evidently was it 
his intention to establish an absolute despotism, that it had 
become their duty, as well as their right, to secure them- 
selves against further aggressions. ... In every stage of 
these oppressions," proceeds the Declaration, " we have 
petitioned for redress in the most humble terms. Our 
petitions have been answered only by repeated injuries. 



70 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act 
which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free 
people." And the United Colonies solemnly declare them- 
selves to be " free and independent States." 

In 1777, during this American war, Earl Chatham, in 
one of his grand speeches, after denouncing " the traffic 
and barter driven with every little pitiful G'erman Prince 
that sells his subjects to the shambles of a foreign country," 
adds : " The mercenary aid on which you rely, irritates 
to an incurable resentment the minds of your enemies, 
whom you overrun with the sordid sons of rapine and of 
plunder, devoting them and their possessions to the rapac- 
ity of hireling cruelty ! If I were an American, as I am an 
Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my coun- 
try, I never would lay down my arms, never ! never ! never ! " 
In reply to Lord Suffolk, who had said, in reference to em- 
ploying the Indians, that " we were justified in using all 
the means which God and nature had put into our hands," 
" I am astonished," exclaimed Lord Chatham, as he rose, 
" shocked, to hear such principles confessed, to hear them 
avowed in this House, or in this country ; principles equally 
unconstitutional, inhuman, and un-Christian. That God 
and Nature put into our hands I I know not what idea that 
Lord may entertain of God and Nature, but I know that 
such abominable principles are equally abhorrent to religion 
and humanity. What! attribute the sacred sanction of 
God and nature to the massacres of the Indian scalping- 
knife, to the cannibal savage, torturing, murdering, roast- 
ing, and eating ; literally, my Lords, eating the mangled 
victims of his barbarous battles ! " 

And yet even after this we find George ILL writing to 
Lord North, on the 22d of June, 1779 : " I do not yet 
despair that, with Clinton's activity, and the Indians in 
their rear, the provinces will soon now submit." 



THE JIOUSB OF BRUNSWICK. 71 

Actually' so late as the 27th of November, 1781, after the 
surrender of Cornwallis, we find George III. saying that 
" retaining a firm confidence in the wisdom and protection 
of Divine Providence," he should be able " by the valor of 
his fleets and armies to conquer America." Fox, in the 
House of Commons, denounced this speech of the King's as 
one " breathing vengeance, blood, misery, and rancor ; " 
and " as containing the sentiments of some arbitrary, 
despotic, hard-hearted, and unfeeling monarch, who, having 
involved his subjects in a ruinous and unnatural war, to 
glut his feelings of revenge, was determined to persevere 
in it in spite of calamity." " Divest the speech," said he, 
"of its official forms, and what was its purport? 'Our 
losses in America have been most calamitous ; the blood 
of my subjects has flowed in copious streams ; the treasures 
of Great Britain have been wantonly lavished ; the load of 
taxes imposed on an over-burthened country is become in- 
tolerable ; my rage for conquest is unquenched ; my revenge 
unsated ; nor can anything except the total subjugation of 
my American subjects allay my animosity.' " 

The following table shows what this disastrous war ulti- 
mately cost this country in mere money ; no table can effi- 
ciently show its cost in blood and misery : 

Tear. Taxation. Loans. 

1775 10,138,061 

1776 10,265,405 2,000,000 

1777 10,604,013 5,500,000 

1778 10,732,405 6,000,000 

1779 11,192,141 7,000,000 

1780 12,255,214 12,000,000 

1781 12,454,936 12,000,000 

1782 12,593,297 13,500,000 

1783 11,962,718 12,000,000 

1784 12,905,519 12,879,341 

1785 14,871,520 10,990,651 



Total 129,975,229 93,869,992 



72 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

The American war terminated in 1783 ; but as the loans 
of the two following years were raised to wind up the ex- 
penses of that struggle, it is proper they should be included. 
The total expense of the American war will stand thus : 

Taxes 129,975,229 

Loans 93,869,992 

Advances by the Bank of England 110,000 

Advances by the East India Company 3,200,000 

Increase in the Unfunded Debt 5,170,273 



Total 232,325,494 

Deduct expense of a peace establishment 

for eleven years, as it stood in 1774 113,142,403 

Net cost of the American war 119,183,091 

In addition to this must be noted 1,340,000 voted as 
compensation to American loyalists in 1788, and 4,000 a 
year pension since, and even now, paid to the descendants 
of William Penn, amounting, with compound interest, to 
an enormous additional sum, even to the present date, 
without reckoning future liability. And this glorious colony 
parted from us in blood and shame, in consequence of a 
vain attempt to gratify the desire of the House of Bruns- 
wick to make New England contribute to their German 
greed as freely and as servilely as Old England had done. 

Encouraged by the willingness with which his former 
debts had been discharged, George III., in 1777, sent a 
second message, but this time for the larger sum of 600,- 
000, which was not only paid, but an additional allowance 
of 100,000 a year was voted to his Majesty, and 40,000 
was given to the Landgrave of Hesse. 

As an illustration of the barbarity of our laws, it is 
enough to say that, in 1777, Sarah Parker was burnt for 
counterfeiting silver coin. In June, 1786, Phoebe Harris 
was burnt for the same -offence. And this in a reign when 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 73 

persons in high position, accused of murder, forgery, perjury, 
and robbeiy, escaped almost scot free. 

In April, 1778, 60,000 a year was settled on the six 
younger princes, and 30,000 a year on the five princesses. 
These pensions, however, were professedly paid out of the 
King's Civil List, not avowedly in addition to it, as they 
are to-day. The Duke of Buckingham stated that in 1778, 
and again in 1782, the King threatened to abdicate. This 
threat, which, unfortunately, was never carried out, arose 
from the King's obstinate persistence in the worse than 
insane policy against the American colonies. 

In December, 1779, in consequence of England needing 
Irish soldiers to make war on America, Ireland was gra- 
ciously permitted to export Irish woollen manufactures. 
The indulgences, however, to Ireland even while the 
Ministers of George III. were trying to enlist Irishmen to 
kill the English, Scotch, and Irish in America were made 
most grudgingly. Pious Protestant George III. would not 
consent that any Irish Catholic should own one foot of free- 
hold land ; and Edmund Burke, in a letter to -an Irish peer, 
says that it was " pride, arrogance, and a spirit of domina- 
tion" which kept up " these unjust legal disabilities." 

On the 8th February, 1780, Sir G. Savile presented the 
famous Yorkshire petition, signed by 8,000 freeholders, 
praying the House of Commons to inquire into the man- 
agement and expenditure of public money, to reduce all 
exorbitant emoluments, and to abolish all sinecure places 
and unmerited pensions. Three days later, Edmund Burke 
proposed a reduction of the national taxation (which was 
then only a sixth part of its amount to-day) , and a dimi- 
nution of the power of the Crown. Burke was defeated, 
but shortly after, on the motion of Mr. Dunning, the House 
of Commons declared, by a majority of 18 against the 



74 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK.' 

Government, " That the influence of the Crown has in- 
creased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished." 

On the 20th March, 1782, Lord North, in consequence 
of the impossibility of subduing the American colonies, 
determined to resign. The King opposed this to the last, 
declaring that no difficulties should induce him to consent 
to a peace acknowledging the Independence of America. 
" So distressing," says Jesse, "was the conflict which pre- 
vailed in the mind of George III., that he not only contem- 
plated abandoning the Crown of England for the Electorate 
of Hanover, but orders had actually been issued to have 
the royal yacht in readiness for his flight." What a bless- 
ing to the country if he had really persevered in his reso- 
lution ! 

Charles James Fox, who now came into power for a brief 
space, had, says Jesse, " taught himself to look upon his 
sovereign as a mere dull, obstinate, half-crazed, and narrow- 
minded bigot ; a Prince whose shallow understanding had 
never been improved by education, whose prejudices it was 
impossible to remove, and whose resentments it would be 
idle to endeavor to soften." 

In 1784, George, Prince of Wales, was over head and ears 
in debt, and the King, who appears to have hated him, re- 
fusing any aid, he resorted to threats. Dr. Doran says : 
" A conversation is spoken of as having passed between the 
Queen and the Minister, in which he is reported as having 
said, ' I much fear, } T our Majesty, that the Prince, in his 
wild moments, may allow expressions to escape him that 
may be injurious to the Crown. ' ' There is little fear of 
that,' was the alleged reply of the Queen ; ' he is too well 
aware of the consequences of such a course of conduct to 
himself. As regards that point, therefore, I can rely upon 
him.' " 
Jesse says of the Prince of Wales, that between eighteen 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 75 

and twenty, " to be carried home drunk, or to be taken into 
custody by the watch, were apparently nounfrequent episodes 
in the career of the Heir to the Throne . Under the auspices of 
his weak and frivolous uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, the 
Prince's conversation is said to have been a compound of 
the slang of grooms and the wanton vocabulary of a brothel." 
"When we hunt together," said the King to the Duke of 
Gloucester, " neither my son nor my brother speak to me ; 
and lately, when the chase ended at a little village where 
there was but a single post-chaise to be hired, my son and 
brother got into it, and drove off, leaving me to go home in 
a cart, if I could find one." And this is the family Mr. 
Disraeli holds up for Englishmen to worship ! 

In July, 1782, Lord Shelburne came into office; but he 
" always complained that the King had tricked and deserted 
him," and had " secretly connived at his downfall." He 
resigned office on the 24th February, 1783. An attempt 
was made to form a Coalition Ministry, under the Duke of 
Portland. The King complained of being treated with per- 
sonal incivility, and the attempt failed. On the 23d 
March, the Prince of Wales, at the Queen's Drawing-room, 
said: " The King had refused to accept the coalition, but 
by God he should be made to agree to it." Under the 
great excitement the King's health gave way. The Prince, 
says Jesse, was a member of Brooks's Club, where, as Wai- 
pole tells us, the members were not only " strangely licen- 
tious " in their talk about their sovereign, but in their zeal 
for the interests of the heartless young Prince "even 
Wagered on the duration of the King's reign." The King 
repeated his threat of abandoning the Throne, and retiring 
to his Hanoverian dominions ; and told the Lord- Advocate, 
Dundas, that he had obtained the consent of the Queen to 
his taking this extraordinary step. Young William Pitt 
refusing twice to accept the Premiership, Fox and Lord 



76 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

North came again into power. 30,000 was voted for the 
Prince of Wales's debts, and a similar sum to enable him 
to furnish his house. The " unnatural " Coalition Ministry 
did not last long. Fox introduced his famous India Bill. 
The King, regarding it as a blow at the power of the Crown, 
caballed and canvassed the Peers against it. " The welfare 
of thirty millions of people was overlooked in the excite- 
ment produced by selfish interests, by party zeal, and 
officious loyalty." " Instantly," writes Lord Macaulay, " a 
troop of Lords of the Bedchamber, of Bishops who wished 
to be translated, and of Scotch peers who wished to be re- 
elected, made haste to change sides." The Bill had passed 
the Commons by large majorities. The King opposed it 
like a partisan, and when it was defeated in the Lords, 
cried, " Thank God ! it is all over ; the House has thrown 
out the Bill, so there is an end of Mr. Fox." The Ministers 
not resigning, as the King expected they would, his Maj- 
esty dismissed them at once, sending to Lord North in the 
middle of the night for his seals of office. 

On the 19th December, 1783, William Pitt, then twenty- 
four years of age, became Prime Minister of England. The 
House of Commons passed a resolution, on the motion of 
Lord Surrej^, remonstrating with the King for having per- 
mitted his sacred name to be unconstitutionally used in 
order to influence the deliberations of Parliament. More 
than once the Commons petitioned the King to dismiss Pitt 
from office. Pitt, with large majorities against him, wished 
to resign ; but George III. said, " If you resign, Mr. Pitt, I 
must resign too," and he again threatened, in the event of 
defeat, to abandon England, and retire to his Hanoverian 
dominions. Now our monarch, if a king, would, have no 
Hanoverian dominions to retire to. 

In 1784, 60,000 was voted by Parliament to defray the 
King's debts. In consequence of the large debts of the 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 77 

Prince of "Wales, an interview was arranged at Carlton 
House, on the 27th April, 1785, between the Prince and 
Lord Malmesbury. The King, the Prince said, had desired 
him to send in an exact statement of his debts ; there was 
one item, however, of 25,000, on which the Prince of 
Wales would give no information. If it were a debt, argued 
the King, which his son was ashamed to explain, it was one 
which he ought not to defray. The Prince threatened to 
go abroad, saying, " I am ruined if I stay in England. I 
shall disgrace myself as a man ; my father hates me, and 
has hated me since I was seven years old. . . . We are too 
wide asunder to ever meet. The King has deceived me ; 
he has made me deceive others. I cannot trust him, and he 
will not believe me." And this is the Brunswick family to 
which the English nation are required to be blindly loyal ! 

In 1785, George, Prince of Wales, was married to a 
Roman Catholic lady, Mrs. Fitzherbert, a widow. It is of 
course known that the Prince treated the lady badly. This 
was not his first experience, the history of Mary Robinson 
forming but one amongst a long list of shabby liaisons, A 
question .having arisen before the House of Commons, dur- 
ing a discussion on the debts owing by the Prince, Charles 
James Fox, on the written authority of the Prince, denied 
that any marriage, regular or irregular, had ever taken 
place, and termed it an invention. . . . destitute of the 
slightest foundation." Mr. Fox's denial was made on the dis- 
tinct written authorit}- of the Prince, who offered, through 
Fox, to give in the House -of Lords the "fullest assur- 
ances of the utter falsehood " of the allegation ; although 
not only does everybod} 7 know to-day that the denial was 
untrue, but in point of fact the fullest proofs of the denied 
marriage exist at this very moment in the custody of Messrs. 
Coutts, the bankers. Out of all the Brunswicks England 
has been cursed with, George I. is the only one against 



78 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSiriCK. 

whom there is no charge of wanton falsehood to his minis- 
ters or subjects, and it is fairly probable that his character 
for such truthfulness was preserved by his utter inability to 
lie in our language. 

Not only did George, Prince of Wales, thus deny his 
marriage with Mrs. Fitzherbert, but repeated voluntarily 
the denial after he became King George IV. Despite this 
denial, the King's executors, the Duke of Wellington and 
Sir William Knighton, were compelled by Mrs. Fitzherbert 
to admit the proofs. The marriage took place on the 21st 
December, 1785, and Mrs. Fitzherbert being a Roman 
Catholic, the legal effect was to bar Prince George and pre- 
vent him ever becoming the lawful King of England. The 
documents above referred to as being at Coutts's include 
1. The marriage certificate. 2. A letter written by the 
Prince of Wales acknowledging the marriage. 3. A will, 
signed by him, also acknowledging it, and other documents. 
And yet George, our King, whom Mr. Disraeli praises, au- 
thorized Charles James Fox to declare the rumor of his 
marriage " a low, malicious falsehood ;" and then the Prince 
went to Mrs. Fitzherbert, and, like a mean, lying hypocrite 
as he was, said, " O Maria, only conceive what Fox did 
yesterday ; he went down to the House and denied that you 
and I were man and wife." 

Although when George, Prince of Wales, had attained his 
majority, he had an allowance of 50,000 a year, 60,000 
to furnish Carlton House, and an additional 40,000 for 
cash to start with, 3^et he was soon after deep in debt. In 
1787, 160,000 was voted, and a portion of the Prince's 
debts was paid. 20,000 further was added as a vote for 
Carlton House. Thackeray sa t ys : " Lovers of long sums 
have added up the millions and millions which in the course 
of his brilliant existence this single Prince consumed. 
Besides his income of 50,000, 70,000, 100,000, 120,- 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNS17ICK. 79 

000 a year, we read of three applications to Parliament ; 
debts to the amount of 160,000, of 650,000, besides 
mysterious foreign loans, whereof he pocketed the proceeds. 
What did he do for all this money ? Why was he to have 
it ? If he had been a manufacturing town, or a populous 
rural district, or an army of five thousand men, he would 
not have cost more. He, one solitary stout man, who did 
not toil, nor spin, nor fight what had any mortal done 
that he should be pampered so?" 

The proposed impeachment of Warren Hastings, which 
actually commenced on February 13th, 1788, and which did 
not conclude until eight years afterwards, excited consider- 
able feeling, it being roundly alleged that Court protection 
had been purchased by the late Governor-General of India, 
by means of a large diamond presented to the King. The 
following rhymed squib tells its own story. It was sung 
about the streets to the tune of " Deny Down " : 

" I'll sing you a song of a diamond so fine, 
That soon in the crown of the monarch will shine ; 
Of its size and its value the whole country rings, 
By Hastings bestowed on the best of all Kings. 

Derry down, &c. 

" From India this jewel was lately brought o'er, 
Though sunk in the sea, it was found on the shore, 
And just in the nick to St. James's it got, 
Convey'd in a bag by the brave Major Scott. 

Derry down, &c. 

"Lord Sydney stepp'd forth, when the tidings were known 
It's his office to carry such news to the throne ; 
Though quite out of breath, to the closet he ran, 
And stammer'd with joy ere his tale he began. 

Derry down, &c. 






** 'Here's a jewel, my liege, there's none such in the land; 
Major Scott, with three bows, put it into my hand : 



80 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

And he swore, when he gave it, the wise ones were bit, 
For it never was shown to Dundas or to Pitt.' 

Derry down, &c. 



s,' cried our sovereign, ' unpolished and rough, 
Give him a Scotch pebble, it's more than enough. 
And jewels to Pitt, Hastings justly refuses, 
For he has already more gifts than he uses. 

Derry down, &c. 

" ' But run, Jenky, run ! ' adds the King in delight, 

* Bring the Queen and Princesses here for a sight ; 
They never would pardon the negligence shown, 

If we kept from their knowledge so glorious a stone. 

Derry down, &c. 

" ' But guard the door, Jenky, no credit we'll win, 
If the Prince in a frolic should chance to step in : 
The boy to such secrets of State we'll ne'er call, 
Let him wait till he gets our crown, income, and all.' 

Derry down, &c. 

" In the Princesses run, and surprised cry, ' O la 1 
Tis big as the egg of a pigeon, papa ! ' 

* And a pigeon of plumage worth plucking is he,' 
Replies our good monarch, ' who sent it to me.' 

Derry down, &c. 

" Madame Schwellenberg peep'd through the door at a chink, 
And tipp'd on the diamond a sly German wink ; 
As much as to say, ' Can we ever be cruel 
To him who has sent us so glorious a jewel? ' 

Derry down, &c. 

" Now God save the Queen ! while the people I teach, 
How the King may grow rich while the Commons impeach ; 
Then let nabobs go plunder, and rob as they will, 
And throw in their diamonds as grist to his mill. 

Derry down, &c." 

It was believed that the King had received not one dia- 
mond, but a large quantity, and that they were to be the 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 81 

purchase-money of Hastings's acquittal. Caricatures on the 
subject were to be seen in the window of every print-shop. 
In one of these Hastings was represented wheeling away 
in a barrow the King, with his crown and sceptre, observing, 
" What -a man buys, he may sell ; " and, in another, the 
King was exhibited on his knees, with his mouth wide 
open, and Warren Hastings pitching diamonds into it. 
Many other prints, some of them bearing evidence of the 
style of the best caricaturists of the day, kept up the agita- 
tion on this subject. It happened that there was a quack 
in the town, who pretended to eat stones, and bills of his 
exhibition were placarded on the walls, headed, in large 
letters, " The great stone-eater ! " The caricaturists took 
the hint, and drew the King with a diamond between 
his teeth, and a heap of others before him, with the inscrip- 
tion, " The greatest stone-eater ! " 

We borrow a few sentences from Lord Macaulay to 
enable our readers to judge, in brief space, the nature of 
Warren Hastings's position, standing impeached, as he did, 
on a long string of charges, some of them most terrible in 
their implication of violence, falsehood, fraud, and rapacity. 
Macaulay thus pictures the situation between the civilized 
Christian and his tributaries : " On one side was a band 
of English functionaries, daring, intelligent, eager to be 
rich. On the other side was a great native population, 
helpless, timid, and accustomed to crouch under oppression." 
When some new act of rapacity was resisted there came 
war ; but " a war of Bengalees against Englishmen was 
like a war of sheep against wolves, of men against demons." 
There was a long period before any one dreamed that jus- 
tice and morality should be features of English rule in 
India. " During the interval, the business of a servant of 
the Company was simply to wring out of the natives a hun- 
dred or two hundred thousand pounds as speedily as pos- 



82 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

sible, that he might return home before his constitution 
bad suffered from the heat, to marry a peer's daughter, to 
buy rotten boroughs in Cornwall, and to give balls in St. 
James's Square." Hastings was compelled to turn his 
attention to foreign affairs. The object of his diplomacy 
was at this time simply to get money. The finances of his 
government were in an embarrassed state, and this embar- 
rassment he was determined to relieve by some means, 
fair or foul. The principle which directed all his dealings 
with his neighbors is fully expressed by the old motto of 
one of the great predatory families of Teviotdale : " Thou 
shalt want ere I want." He seems to have laid it down, 
as a fundamental proposition which could not be disputed, 
that, when he had not as many lacs of rupees as the public 
service required, he was to take them from anybody who 
had. One thing, indeed, is to be said in excuse for him. 
The pressure applied to him by his employers at home was 
such as only the highest virtue could have withstood, such, 
as left him no choice except to commit great wrongs, or to 
resign his high post, and with that post all his hopes of 
fortune and distinction . Hastings was in need of funds to 
carry on the government of Bengal, and to send remit- 
tances to London ; and Sujah Dowlah had an ample reve- 
nue. Sujah Dowlah was bent on subjugating the Rohillas ; 
and Hastings had at his disposal the only force by which 
the Rohillas could be subjugated. It was agreed that an 
English army should be lent to Nabob Vizier, and that for 
the loan he should pay four hundred thousand pounds ster- 
ling, besides defraying all the charge of the troops while 
employed in his service. " I really cannot see," says Mr. 
Gleig, " upon what grounds, either of political or moral 
justice, this proposition deserves to be stigmatized as infa- 
mous." If we understand the meaning of words, it is 
infamous to commit a wicked action for hire, and it is 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 83 

wicked to engage in war without provocation. In this 
particular war, scarcely one aggravating circumstance was 
wanting. The object of the Rohilla war was this, to de- 
prive a large population, who had never done us the least 
harm, of a good government, and to place them, against 
their will, under an execrably bad one. . . . The horrors 
of Indian war were let loose on the fair valleys and cities 
of Rohilcund. The whole country was in a blaze. More 
than a hundred thousand people fled from their homes to 
pestilential jungles, preferring famine, and fever, and the 
"haunts of tigers, to the tyranny of him to whom an English 
and a Christian government had, for shameful lucre, sold 
their substance, and their blood, and the honor of their 
wives and daughters. . . . Mr. Hastings had only to put 
down by main force the brave struggles of innocent men 
fighting for their liberty. Their military resistance 
crushed, his duties ended ; and he had then only to fold 
his arms and look on, while their villages were burned, 
their children butchered, and their women violated. . . . 
We hasten to the end of this sad and disgraceful story. 
The war ceased. The finest population in India was sub- 
jected to a greedy, cowardty, cruel tyrant. Commerce and 
agriculture languished. The rich province which had tempt- 
ed the cupidity of Sujah Dowlah became the most miserable 
part even of his miserable dominions. Yet is the injured 
nation not extinct. At long intervals gleams of its ancient 
spirit have flashed forth ; and even at this day valor, and self- 
respect, and a chivalrous feeling rare among Asiatics, and a 
bitter remembrance of the great crime of England, dis- 
tinguish that noble Afghan race." 

Partly in consequence of the proposed legislation by Fox 
on the affairs of the East India Company, and HJfcr'fly frda| 
personal antagonism, members of the Indian C^^dpN&cts^ild^ 

to GovernoisGeneral Hastings were sent fet i<y ? ^naia.~ 

^- .'.* JI tjJ 
-<,--' *i 



84 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

Amongst his most prominent antagonists was Francis, the 
reputed author of Junius's Letters. It was to Francis 
especially that the Maharajah Nuncomar of Bengal ad- 
dressed himself. " He put into the hands of Francis, with 
great ceremony, a paper containing several charges of the 
most serious description. By this document Hastings was 
accused of putting offices up to sale, and of receiving 
bribes for suffering offenders to escape. In particular, it 
was alleged that Mahommed Reza Khan had been dismissed 
with impunity, in consideration of a great sum paid to the 
Governor-General. . . . He stated that Hastings had re- 
ceived a large sum for appointing Rajah Goordas treasurer 
of the Nabob's household, and for committing the care of 
his Highness's person to Munny Begum. He put in a let- 
ter purporting to bear the seal of the Munn3 r Begum, for 
the purpose of establishing the truth of his story." 

Much evidence was taken before the Indian Council, 
where there was considerable conflict between the friends 
and enemies of Hastings. " The majority, however, voted 
that the charge was made out ; that Hastings had corruptly 
received between thirty and forty thousand pounds ; and 
that he ought to be compelled to refund." 

Now, however, comes an item darker and more disgrace- 
ful, if possible than what had preceded. 

" On a sudden, Calcutta was astounded by the news that 
Nuncomar had been taken up on a charge of felony, com- 
mitted, and thrown into the common jail. The crime im- 
puted to him was, that six years before he had forged a 
bond. The ostensible prosecutor was a native. But it 
was then, and still is, the opinion of everybody, idiots and 
biographers excepted, that Hastings was the real mover in 
the business." The Chief-Justice Impey, one of Hastings's 
creatures, pushed on a mock trial ; " a verdict of Guilty was 
returned, and the Chief-Justice pronounced sentence of death 



THE HOUSE OF BRUXSiriCK. 85 

on the prisoner. ... Of Impey's conduct it is impossible 
to speak too severely. He acted unjustly in refusing to 
respite Nuncomar. No rational man can doubt that he 
took this course in order to gratify the Governor-General. 
If we had ever had any doubts on that point, they would have 
been dispelled by a letter which Mr. Gleig has published. 
Hastings, three or four years later, described Impey as the 
man ' to whose support he was at one time indebted for the 
safety of his fortune, honor, and reputation.' These strong 
words can refer only to the case of Nuncomar ; and they 
must mean that Impey hanged Nuncomar in order to sup- 
port Hastings. It is therefore our deliberate opinion that 
Impey, sitting as a judge, put a man unjustly to death in 
order to serve a political purpose." 

Encouraged by success, a few years later, Hastings, upon 
the most unfair pretext, made war upon and plundered the 
Eajah of Benares, and a little later subjected the eunuchs 
of the Begums of Oude to physical torture, to make them 
confess where the royal treasure was hidden. 

It is evident from Miss Burney's diary that the King and 
Queen warmly championed the cause of Warren Hastings, 
who, after a wearisome impeachment, was acquitted. 

In 1788, the King's insanity assumed a more violent 
form than usual, and on a report from the Privy Council, 
the subject was brought before Parliament. In the Com- 
mons, Pitt and the Tory party contended that the right of 
providing for the government of the country in cases where 
the monarch was unable to perform bis duties, belonged to 
the nation at large, to be exercised by its representatives 
in Parliament. Fox and the Whigs, on the other hand, 
maintained that the Prince of Wales possessed the inher- 
ent right to assume the government. Pitt, seizing this 
argument as it fell from Fox, said, at the moment, to the 



86 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

member seated nearest to him, " I'll unwhig the gentleman 
for the rest of his life." 

During the discussions on the Regency Bill, Lord Thur- 
low, who was then Lord Chancellor, acted the political rat, 
and coquetted with both parties. When the King's recov- 
ery was announced by the royal physicians, Thurlow, to 
cover his treachery, made an extravagant speech in defence 
of Pitt's views, and one laudatory of the King. After 
enumerating the rewards received from the King, he said, 
" and if I forget the monarch who has thus befriended me, 
may my great Creator forget me." John Wilkcs, who was 
present in the House of Lords, said, in a stage aside, audi- 
ble to many of the peers, " Forget yon ! he will see you 
damned first." Phillimore, describing Lord Chancellor 
Thurlow, says that he " either from an instinctive delight 
in all that was brutal " (which did not prevent him from 
being a gross hypocrite), "or from a desire to please 
George III. supported the Slave Trade, and the horrors 
of the Middle Passage, with the uncompromising ferocity 
of a Liverpool merchant or a Guinea captain." 

It appears that the Prince of Wales and the Duke of 
York exhibited what was considered somewhat indecent 
eagerness to have the King declared irrecoverably insane, 
and on more than one occasion the Queen refused to allow 
either of these Royal Princes access to the King's person, 
on the ground that their violent conduct retarded his recov- 
ery. The Prince of Wales and Duke of York protested in 
writing against the Queen's hostility to them, and published 
the protest. Happy family, these Brunswicks ! Dr. Doran 
declares : " There was assuredly no decency in the conduct 
of the Heir-apparent, or of his next brother. They were 
gaily flying from club to club, partj r to party, and did not 
take the trouble even to assume the sentiment which they 
could not feel. * Jf we were together,' says Lord Granville, 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNStVICK. 87 

in a letter inserted in his Memoirs, ' I would tell you some 
particulars of the Prince of Wales's behavior to the King 
and Queen, within these few days, that would make your 
blood run cold.' It was said that if the King could only 
recover and learn what had been said and done during his 
illness, he would hear enough to drive him again into insan- 
ity. The conduct of his eldest sons was marked by its 
savage inhumanity." Jesse says : " The fact is a painful 
one to relate, that on the 4th December the day on which 
Parliament assembled, and when the King's malady was at 
its worst the graceless youth (the Duke of York) not 
only held a meeting of the opposition at his own house, but 
afterwards proceeded to the House of Lords, in order to 
hear the depositions of the royal physicians read, and to 
listen to the painful details of his father's lunacy. More- 
over the same evening we track both the brothers (the 
Prince of "Wales and the Duke of York) to Brooks's, where 
in a circle of boon companions, as irreverent as themselves, 
they are said to have been in the habit of indulging in the 
most shocking indecencies, of which the King's derange- 
ment was the topic. On such occasions, we are told, not 
only did they turn their parents into ridicule, and blab the 
secrets of the chamber of sickness at Windsor, but the 
Prince even went to such unnatural lengths as to employ 
his talents for mimicry, in which he was surpassed by few 
of his contemporaries, in imitating the ravings and gestures 
of his stricken father. As for the Duke of York, we are 
assured that ' the brutality of the stupid sot disgusted even 
the most profligate of his associates.'" Even after the 
King's return to reason had been vouched by the physicians, 
William Grenville, writing to Lord Buckingham, says that 
the two princes " amused themselves with spreading the 
report that the King was still out of his mind." When the 
great thanksgiving for the King's recovery took place at 



88 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

Saint Paul's, the, conduct of the Prince of Wales and the 
Duke of York, in the Cathedral itself, is described " as 
having been in the highest degree irreverent, if not inde- 
cent." Sir William Young writes to Lord Buckingham, 
"The day will come when Englishmen will bring these 
Princes to their senses." Alas for England, the day has 
not yet come ! 

In 1789, a great outcry was raised against the Duke of 
York on account of his licentiousness. In 1790, the printer 
of the Times newspaper was fined 100 for libelling the 
Prince of Wales, and a second 100 for libelling the Duke 
of York. It was in this year that the Prince of Wales, and 
the Dukes of York and Clarence, issued joint and several 
bonds to an enormous amount it is said, 1,000,000 ster- 
ling, and bearing 6 per cent, interest. These bonds were 
taken up chiefly abroad ; and some Frenchmen who sub- 
scribed, being unable to obtain either principal or interest, 
applied to the Court of Chancery, in order to charge the 
revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall. Others of the foreign 
holders of bonds had recourse to other proceedings to en- 
force their claims. In nearly every case the claimants were 
arrested by the Secretary of State's order, and sent out of 
England under the Alien Act, and when landed in their 
own country were again arrested for treasonable communi- 
cation with the enemy, and perished on the scaffold. MM. 
De Baume, Chaudot, Mette, Aubert, Vaucher, and others, 
all creditors of the Prince, were thus arrested under the 
Duke of Portland's warrant, and on their deportation re- 
arrested for treason, and guillotined. Thus were some of 
the debts of the Royal Family of Brunswick settled, if not 
paid. Honest family, these Brunswicks ! 

George, Prince of Wales, and the Duke of York were 
constant patrons of prize fights, races, and gambling tables, 
largely betting, and not always paying their wagers when 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 89 

they lost. In the autumn of 1791 a charge was made 
against the Prince of "Wales that he allowed his horse 
Escape to run badly on the 20th of October, and when 
heavily betted against caused the same horse to be ridden 
to win. A brother of Lord Lake, who was friendly to the 
Prince, and who managed some of his racing affairs, evi- 
dently believed there was foul play, and so did the Jockey 
Club, who declared that if the Prince permitted the same 
jockey, Samuel Chiffney, to ride again, no gentleman would 
start against him. A writer employed by George, Prince 
of "Wales, to defend his character, says : " It may be asked, 
why did not the Prince of Wales declare upon his honor, 
that no foul play had been used with respect to Escape's 
first race ? Such a declaration would at once have solved 
all difficulties, and put an end to all embarrassments. But 
was it proper for the Prince of Wales to have condescended 
to such a submission ? Are there not sometimes suspicions 
of so disgraceful a nature afloat, and at the same time so 
improbable withal, that if the person, who is the object of 
them, condescends to reply to them, he degrades himself? 
Was it to be expected of the Prince of Wales that he 
should purge himself by oath, like his domestic ? Or, was 
it to be looked for, that the first subject in the realm, the 
personage whose simple word should have commanded 
deference, respect, and belief, was to submit himself to the 
examination of the Jockey Club, and answer such questious 
as they might have thought proper to have proposed to 
him?" 

This, coming from a family like the Brunswicks, and 
from one of four brothers who, like their highnesses of 
Wales, York, Kent, and Cumberland, had each in turn de- 
clared himself upon honor not guilty of some misdemeanor 
or felony, is worthy a note of admiration. George, Prince 
of Wales, declared himself not guilty of bigamy ; the Duke 



90 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

of York declared himself not guilty of selling promotion 
in the army. Both these Princes publicly declared them- 
selves not guilty of the charge of trying to hinder their 
royal father's restoration to sanity. The Duke of Kent, 
the Queen's father, declared that he was no party to the 
subornation of witnesses against his own brother. The 
Duke of Cumberland pledged his oath that he had never 
been guilty of sodomy and murder. 

In September, 1791, the Duke of York was married to 
the Princess Frederica, daughter of the King of Prussia, 
with whom he lived most unhappily for a few years. The 
only effect of this marriage on the nation was that 18,000 
a year was voted as an extra allowance to his Royal High- 
ness, the Duke of York. This was in addition to 100,000 
crowns given out of the Civil List as a marriage portion to 
the Princess. Dr. Doran says of the Duchess of York : 
" For six years she bore with treatment from the ' Com- 
mander-in-Chief ' such as no trooper under him would have 
inflicted on a wife equally deserving. At the end of that 
time the ill-matched pair separated." Kind husbands, these 
Brunswicks ! 

In a print published on the 24th May, 1792, entitled 
" Vices Overlooked in the New Proclamation," Avarice is 
represented by King George and Queen Charlotte, hugging 
their hoarded millions with extreme satisfaction, a book of 
interest tables lying at hand. This print is divided into 
four compartments, representing: 1. Avarice; 2. Drunken- 
ness, exemplified in the person of the Prince of "Wales; 
3. Gambling, the favorite amusement of the Duke of York ; 
and 4. Debauchery, the Duke of Clarence and Mrs. Jordan 
as the four notable vices of the Royal family of Great 
Britain. If the print had to be re-issued to-day, it would 
require no very vivid imagination to provide materials from 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSIFICK. 91 

the living members of the Roj'al Family to refill the four 
compartments. 

Among various other remarkable trials occurring in 1792, 
those of Daniel Holt and William Winterbottom are here 
worth}' of notice, as illustrating the fashion in which the 
rule of the Brunswick monarchy has trenched on our polit- 
ical liberties. The former, a printer of Nottingham, was 
convicted and sentenced to two years' imprisonment for 
re-publishing, verbatim, a political tract, originally circu- 
lated without prosecution by the Thatched House Tavern 
Association, of which Mr. Pitt and the Duke of Richmond 
had been members. The other, a dissenting minister at 
Plymouth, of virtuous and highly respectable character, 
was convicted of sedition, and sentenced to four years' 
imprisonment in the jail of Newgate, for two sermons 
preached in commemoration of the revolution of 1688. 
The indictment charged him with affirming, " That his 
Majesty was placed upon the throne on condition of keep- 
ing certain laws and rules, and if he does not observe them, 
he has no more right to the crown than the Stuarts had." 
All the Whigs in the kingdom might, doubtless, have been 
comprehended in a similar indictment. And if the doc- 
trine affirmed by the Rev. Mr. Winterbottom be denied, 
the monstrous reverse of the proposition follows, that the 
King is bound by no conditions or laws ; and that, though 
resistance to the tyranny of the Stuarts might be justifiable, 
resistance under the same circumstances to the House of 
Brunswick is not. This trial, for the cruelty and infamy 
attending it, has been justly compared to the celebrated 
one of Rosewell in the latter years of Charles H., to the 
events of which those of 1792 exhibit, in various respects, 
a striking and alarming parallel. 

Before his election to the National Convention, Thomas 
Paine published the second part of his " Rights of Man," 



92 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

in which he boldly promulgated principles which, though 
fiercely condemned at the date of their issue, are now being 
gradually accepted by the great mass of the people. 
Paine's work was spread through the kingdom with extraor- 
dinary industry, and was greedily sought for by people 
of all classes. Despite the great risk of fine and imprison- 
ment, some of the most effective parts were printed on 
pieces of paper, which were used by Republican tradesmen as 
wrappers for their commodities. Proceedings were immedi- 
ately taken against Thomas Paine as author of the obnoxious 
book, which was treated as a libel against the government 
and constitution, and on trial Paine was found guilty. He 
was defended with great ability by Erskine, who, when he 
left the court, was cheered by a crowd of people who had 
collected without, some of whom took his horses from his 
carriage, and dragged him home to his house in Serjeant's 
Inn. The name and opinions of Thomas Pain were at 
this moment gaining influence, in spite of the exertions 
made to put them down. From this time for several years 
it is almost impossible to read a weekly journal without 
finding some instance of persecution for publishing Mr. 
Paine's political views. 

The trial of Thomas Paine was the commencement of a 
series of State prosecutions, not for political offences, but 
for political designs. The name of Paine had caused much 
apprehension, but many even amongst the Conservatives 
dreaded the extension of the practice of making the publi- 
cation of a man's abstract opinions criminal, when unac- 
companied with any direct or open attempt to put them 
into effect. In the beginning of 1793 followed prosecu- 
tions in Edinburgh, where the ministerial influence was 
great, against men who had associated to do little more 
than call for reform in Parliament ; and five persons, whose 
alleged crimes consisted chiefly in having read Paine's 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 93 

" Rights of Man," and in having expressed either a partial 
approbation of his doctrines, or a strong declaration in 
favor of Parliamentary reform, were transported severall}- : 
Joseph Gerrald, William Skirving, and Thomas Muir for 
fourteen, and Thomas Fyshe Palmer and Maurice Margaret 
for seven years ! These men had been active in the politi- 
cal societies, and it was imagined that, by an exemplary 
injustice of this kind, these societies would be intimidated. 
Such, however, was not the case, for, from this moment, 
the clubs in Edinburgh became more active than ever, and 
they certainly took a more dangerous character ; so that, 
before the end of the year, there was actually a " British 
Convention" sitting in the Scottish capital. This was 
dissolved by force at the beginning of 1794, and two of its 
members were added to the convicts already destined for 
transportation. Their severe sentences provoked warm 
discussions in the English Parliament, but the ministers 
were inexorable in their resolution to put them in execu- 
tion. 

The extreme severity of the sentences passed on the 
Scottish political martyrs, even as judged by those admit- 
ting the legality and justice of their conviction, was so 
shameful as to rouse general interest. Barbarous as the 
law of Scotland appeared to be, it became a matter of 
doubt whether the Court of Justiciary had not exceeded its 
power, in substituting the punishment of transportation for 
that of banishment, imposed by the Act of Queen Anne, 
for the offence charged on those men. 

In 1794, the debts of the Prince of Wales then amount- 
ing to about 650,000, not including the amounts due on 
the foreign bonds, a marriage was suggested in order to 
give an excuse for going to Parliament for a vote. This 
was at a time when the Prince was living with Mrs. Fitz- 
herbert as his wife, and when Lady Jersey was his most 



94 THE HOUSE OF 

prominent mistress. The bride selected was Caroline of 
Brunswick. A poor woman for a wife, if Lord Malmes- 
bury's picture is a true one, certainly in no sense a bad wom- 
an. But her husband our Prince ! When she arrived in 
London, George was not sober. His first words, after 
greeting her, were to Lord Malmesbury, " Get me a glass 
of brandy." Tipsy this Brunswicker went to the altar on 
the 8th of April, 1794 ; so tipsy that he got up from his 
knees too soon, and the King had to whisper him down, the 
Archbishop having halted in amaze in the ceremony. Here 
there is no possibility of mistake. The two Dukes who 
were his best men at the wedding had their work to keep 
him from falling ; and to one, the Duke of Bedford, he ad- 
mitted that he had had several glasses of brandy before 
coming to the chapel. 

Thackeray says, ""What could be expected from a wed- 
ding which had such a beginning from such a bridegroom 
and such a bride ? Malmesbury gives us the beginning of 
the marriage story how the prince reeled into chapel to 
be married ; how he hiccupped out his vows of fidelity 
you know how he kept them ; how he pursued the woman 
whom he had married ; to what a state he brought her ; 
with what blows he struck her ; with what malignity he 
pursued her ; what his treatment of his daughter was ; and 
what his own life. .He, the first gentleman of Europe ! " 

The Parliament not only paid the Prince of Wales's debts, 
but gave him 28,000 for jewels and plate, and 26,000 for 
the furnishing of Carlton House. 

On the 12th of May, Mr. Henry Dundas brought down 
on behalf of the government, a second message from the 
King, importing that seditious practices had been carried 
on by certain societies in London, in correspondence with 
other societies ; that they had lately been pursued with in- 
creasing activity and boldness, and had been avowedly 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSmCK. 95 

directed to the assembling of a pretended National Con- 
vention, in contempt and defiance of the authority of Par- 
liament, on principles subversive of the existing laws and 
the constitution, and tending to introduce that system of 
anarchy prevailing in France ; that his Majesty had given 
orders for seizing the books and papers of those societies, 
which were to be laid before the House, to whom it was 
recommended to pursue measures necessary to counteract 
their pernicious tendency. A large collection of books and 
papers was, in consequence, brought down to the House ; 
and, after an address had been voted, a resolution was 
agreed to, that those papers should be referred to a com- 
mittee of secrecy. A few days after the King's message 
was delivered, the following persons were committed to the 
Tower on a charge of high treason : Mr. Thomas Hardy, 
a shoemaker in Piccadilly, who officiated as secretary to the 
London Corresponding Society ; Mr. Daniel Adams, secre- 
tary to the Society for Constitutional Information; Mr. 
John Home Tooke; Mr. Stewart Kyd; Mr. Jeremiah 
Joyce, preceptor to Lord Mahon, eldest son of the Earl of 
Stanhope ; and Mr. John Thelwall, who had for some time 
delivered lectures on political subjects in London. 

Under the influence of excitement resulting from the 
Government statement of the discovery of a plot to assassi- 
nate the King, and which plot never existed outside the 
brains of the Government spies, a Special Commission of 
Oyer and Terminer was issued on the 10th of September, 
1794, for the trial of the State prisoners confined in the 
Tower on a charge of high treason. On the 2d of October, 
the Commission was opened at the Sessions House, Clerk- 
enwell, by Lord Chief Justice Eyre, in an elaborate charge 
to the grand jury.- Bills were then found against all who 
had been taken up in May, except Daniel Adams. Hardy 
was first put on his trial at the Old Bailey. The trial com- 




96 THE JIOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

menced on the 28th of October, and continued with short 
adjournments until the 5th of November. Mr. Erskine 
was counsel for Hardy, and employed his great talents and 
brilliant eloquence with the most complete success. After 
consulting together for three hours, the jury, who, though 
the avowed friends of the then administration, were men of 
impartiality, intelligence, and of highly respectable charac- 
ters, returned a verdict of Not Guilty. There has seldom 
been a verdict given in a British court of justice which af- 
forded more general satisfaction. It is doubtful whether 
there has been a verdict more important in its consequences 
to the liberties of the English people. On the 17th of No- 
vember, John Home Tooke was put on his trial. The Duke 
of Richmond, Earl Camden, Mr. Pitt, and Mr. Beaufoy, were 
subpoenaed by the prisoner ; and the examination of "Wil- 
liam Pitt by Mr. Tooke and his counsel formed the most 
important feature in the trial, as the evidence of the Prime 
Minister tended to prove that, from the year 1780 to 1782, 
he himself had been actively engaged with Mr. Tooke and 
many others in measures of agitation to procure a Parlia- 
mentary reform, although he now not only deemed the at- 
tempt dangerous and improper, but sought to condemn it 
as treasonable, or at least as seditious. Mr. Erskine, who 
was counsel for Mr. Tooke also, in a most eloquent and 
powerful manner contended that the conduct of his client 
was directed only to the same object as that previously 
sought by Pitt himself, and that the measures resorted to, 
so far from being criminal, were perfectly constitutional. 
Mr. Pitt was extremely guarded in his replies, and pro- 
fessed very little recollection of what passed at the meet- 
ings which he attended. A letter he had written to Mr. 
Tooke at that time on, the subject was handed to him, 
which he pretended he could scarcely recognize, and which 
the judge would not permit to be read. Mr. Sheridan, who 



THE HOUSE OP BRUNSWICK. 97 

was likewise engaged in the agitation for political reform, 
and subpoenaed by Mr. Tooke, gave unqualified evidence in 
favor of Mr. Tooke respecting the proceedings at those 
meetings. The trial continued till the Saturday following, 
when the jury were out of court only six minutes, and re- 
turned a verdict of Not Guilty ! 

The opening of Parliament was looked forward to with 
great anxiety, on account of the extreme distress under 
which the country was laboring. As the time approached, 
popular meetings were held in the metropolis, and prepara- 
tions were made for an imposing demonstration. During 
the morning of the 29th of October, the day on which the 
King was to open the session in person, crowds of men 
continued pouring into the town from the various open 
spaces outside, where simultaneous meetings had been called 
by placards and advertisements ; and before the King left 
Buckingham House, on his way to St. James's, the number 
of people collected on the ground over which he had to pass 
is admitted in the papers of the day to have been not less 
than two hundred thousand. At first the state carriage 
was allowed to move on through this dense mass in sullen 
silence, no hats being taken off, nor any other mark of 
respect being shown. This was followed by a general 
outburst of hisses and groans, mingled with shouts of 
" Give us peace and bread ! " " No war ! " " No King ! " 
" Down with him ! down with George ! " and the like ; and 
this tumult continued unabated until the King reached the 
House of Lords, the Guards with much difficulty keeping 
the mob from closing on the carriage. As it passed through 
Margaret Street the populace seemed determined to attack 
it, and when opposite the Ordnance Office a stone passed 
through the glass of the carriage window. A verse pub- 
lished the following day says : 






98 THE HOUSK OF BRUNSWICK. 

" Folks say it was lucky the stone missed the head, 

When lately at Caesar 'twas thrown ; 
I think very different from thousands indeed, 
'Twas a lucky escape for the stone." 

The demonstration was, if anything, more fierce on the 
Bang's return, and he had some difficulty in reaching St. 
James's Palace without injury ; for the mob threw stones 
at the state carriage and damaged it considerably. After 
remaining a short time at St. James's, he proceeded in his 
private coach to Buckingham House, but the carriage was 
stopped in the Park by the populace, who pressed round it, 
shouting, " Bread, bread ! Peace, peace ! " until the King 
was rescued from this unpleasant situation by a strong body 
of the Guards. 

Treason and sedition Acts were hurried through Parlia- 
ment to repress the cries of the hungry for bread, whilst 
additional taxes were imposed to make the poor poorer. 

That the terrible French war of which it is impossible 
to give any account in the limits of this essay, a war which 
cost Great Britian at least 1,000,000,000 in hard cash, 
without reckoning the hundreds of thousands of killed, 
wounded, and pauperized, and which Buckle calls " the 
most hateful, the most unjust, and the most atrocious war 
England has ever waged against any country " directly 
resulted from our government under the Brunswick family 
is a point on which it is impossible for any one who has 
examined the facts to have a serious doubt. Sir. Archi- 
bald Alison tells us that, early in 1791, ''The Bang of 
England took a vivid interest in the misfortunes of the 
Royal Family of France, promising, as Elector of Hanover, 
to concur in any measure which might be deemed necessary 
to extricate them from their embarrassments ; and he sent 
Lord Elgin to Leopold, who was then travelling in Italy, 
to concert measures for the common object." It was as 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 99 

Elector of Hanover also that his grandfather, George II., 
had sacrificed English honor and welfare to the personal 
interest and family connections of these wretched Bruns- 
wicks. It is certain too, that, after years of terrible war, on 
one of the occasions of negotiation for peace, hindrances 
arose because our Government insisted on describing 
George III., in the preliminaries, as " King of France." 
The French naturally said, first, your King George never 
has been King of any part of France at any time ; and next, 
we, having just declared France a Republic, cannot in a 
solemn treaty recognize the continued existence of a claim 
to Monarchy over us. 

The following table, which we insert at this stage to save 
the need for further reference, shows how the labor of the 
British nation was burdened for generations to come, by 
the insane affection of the House of Brunswick for the 
House of Bourbon : 

Tears. Taxes. Loans. 

1793 17,656,418 25,926,526 

1794 17,170,400 

1795 17,308,411 51,705,698 

1796 17,858,454 56,945,566 

1797 18,737,760 25,350,000 

1798 20,654,650 35,624,250 

1799 30,202,916 21,875,300 

1800 35,229,968 29,045,000 

1801 33,896,464 44,816,250 

1802 35,415,296 41,489,438 

1803 37,240,213 16,000,000 

1804 37,677,063 18,200,000 

1805 45,359,442 39,543,124 

1806 49,659,281 29,880,000 

1807 53,304,254 18,373,200 

1808 58,390,255 13,693,254 

1809 61,538,207 21,278,122 

1810 63,405,294 19,811,108 



100 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 



Years. 
1811 
1812 
1813 
1814 
1815 



Total 



Taxes. 
66,681,366 
64,763,870 
63,160,845 
66,925,835 
69,684,192 

981,929,853 



Loans. 
29,244,711 
40,743*,031 
54,780,324 
63,645,930 
70,888,402 

768,858,934 



After making some deductions on account of the opera- 
tions of the loyalty loan, and the transfer of annuities, the 
total debt contracted from 1793 to 1815 amounts to 
762,537,445. If to this sum be added the increase in the 
unfunded debt during that period, and the additional sums 
raised by taxes in consequence of hostilities, we shall have 
the total expenditure, owing to the French war, as fol- 
lows : 



Debt contracted from 1793 to 1815 762,537,445 

Increase in the Unfunded Debt 50,194,060 

War Taxes 614,488,459 

Total 1,427,219,964 

Deduct sum paid to the Commissioners for 
reduction of the National Debt 173,309,383 

Total cost of the French war 1,253,910,581 

Lord Fife, in the House of Lords, said that "in this hor- 
rid war had he first witnessed the blood and treasure of the 
nation expended in the extravagant folly of secret expedi- 
tions, which had invariably proved either abortive or unsuc- 
cessful. Grievous and heavy taxes had been laid on the 
people, and wasted in expensive embassies, and in subsi- 
dizing proud, treacherous, and useless foreign princes." 

In 1795 King George and his advisers tried by statute to 
put a stop forever in this country to all political or relig- 
ious discussion. No meeting was to be held, except on five 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 101 

days' duly advertised notice, to be signed by householders ; 
and if for lectures or debates, on special license by a mag- 
istrate. Power was given to a^ magistrate to put an end 
in his discretion to any meeting, and to use military force 
in the event of twelve persons remaining one hour after 
notice. If a man lent books, newspapers, or pamphlets 
without license, he might be fined twenty pounds for every 
offence. If he permitted lectures or debates on any subject 
whatever, he might be fined one hundred pounds a day. 
And yet people dare to tell us that we owe our liberties to 
these Brunswicks ! 

On the 1st of June, 1795, Gillray, in a caricature entitled 
" John Bull Ground Down," had represented Pitt grinding 
John Bull into money, which was flowing out in an immense 
stream beneath the mill. The Prince of Wales is drawing 
off a large portion, to pay the debts incurred by his extrav- 
agance ; while Dundas, Burke, and Loughborough, as the 
representatives of ministerial pensioners, are scrambling 
for the rest. King George encourages Pitt to grind with- 
out mercy. Another caricature by Gillray, published on 
the 4th of June, represents Pitt as Death on the White 
Horse (the horse of Hanover) , riding over a drove of pigs, 
the representatives of what Burke had termed the " swinish 
multitude." 

On the 7th of January, 1796, the Princess Charlotte of 
Wales was born, and on the 30th of April, George, Prince 
of Wales, wrote to the Princess Caroline, stating that he 
did not intend to live with her any more. The Prince had 
some time previously sent by Lord Cholmondeley a verbal 
message to the same effect, which, however, the Princess 
had refused to accept. The mistress reigning over the 
Prince of Wales at this time was Lady Jersey. 

No impeachment of the House of Brunswick would be 
even tolerably supported which did not contain some refer- 



102 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

ence to the terrible misgovernment of Ireland under the 
rule of this obstinate and vicious family ; and yet these few- 
pages afford but little space in which to show how benefi- 
cent the authority^ of King George III. has proved to our 
Irish brethren. 

During the war, when there were no troops in Ireland, 
and when, under Flood and Grattan, the volunteers were in 
arms, some concessions had been made to the Irish people. 
A few obnoxious laws had been repealed, and promises had 
been held out of some relaxation of the fearfully oppressive 
laws against the Catholics. From the correspondence of 
Earl Temple, it is clear that in 1782 not only was the King 
against any further concession whatever, but that his Maj- 
esty and Lord Shelburne actually manoeuvred to render the 
steps already taken as fruitless as possible. We' find W. 
W. Grenville admitting, on the 15th December, 1782, " that 
the [Irish] people are really miserable and oppressed to a 
degree I had not at all conceived." The Government acted 
dishonestly to Ireland. The consequence was, continued 
miser}' and disaffection ; and I assert, without fear of con- 
tradiction, that this state of things is directly traceable to 
the King's wilfulness on Irish affairs." As an illustration 
of the character of the Government, it is worth notice that 
Lord Temple, when Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, wrote to 
his brother in cipher, because his letters were opened in the 
Post Office by Lord Shelburne. The Parliament of Ireland 
was in great part owned by absentee peers, and each change 
of Lord-Lieutenancy was marked by heavy addition to the 
Pension List. The continuance of the Catholic disabilities 
rendered permanent quiet impossible. Three-fourths of the 
nation were legally and socially almost outlawed. The 
national discontent was excited by the arbitrary conduct of 
the authorities, and hopes of successful revolution were 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 103 

encouraged, after 1789, by the progress of the Revolution 
in France. 

About 1790, the "United Irishmen" first began to be 
heard of. Their object was " a complete reform in the 
legislature, founded on the principles of civil, political and 
religious liberty." The clubs soon became secret associa- 
tions, and were naturally soon betrayed. Prosecutions for 
sedition in 1793 were soon followed by military repression. 

Lord Moira, in the House of Lords in 1797, in a powerful 
speech, which has remained without any refutation, de- 
scribed the Government of Ireland as " the most absurd, 
as well as the most disgusting, tyranny that any nation 
ever groaned under." He said : " If such a tyranny be 
persevered in, the consequence must inevitably be the 
deepest and most universal discontent, and even hatred to 
the English name. I have seen in that country a marked 
distinction made between the English and Irish. I have 
seen troops that have been sent full of this prejudice 
that every inhabitant in that kingdom is a rebel to the 
British Government. I have seen the most wanton insults 
practised upon men of all ranks and conditions. I have 
seen the most grievous oppressions exercised, in conse- 
quence of a presumption that the person who was the 
unfortunate object of such oppression was in hostility to the 
Government ; and yet that has been done in a part of the 
country as quiet and as free from disturbance as the eity 
of London." His lordship then observed that, " from 
education and early habits, the curfew was ever considered 
by Britons as a badge of slavery and oppression. It was 
then practised in Ireland with brutal rigor. He had known 
instances where the master of a house had in vain pleaded 
to be allowed the use of a candle, to enable the mother to 
administer relief to her daughter struggling in convulsive 
fits. In former times, it had been the custom for English- 



104 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

men to bold the infamous proceedings of the Inquisition in 
detestation. One of the greatest horrors with which it was 
attended was that the person, ignorant of the crime laid to 
his charge, or of his accuser, was torn from his family, 
immured in a prison, and kept in the most cruel uncertainty 
as to the period of his confinement, or the fate which 
awaited him. To this injustice, abhorred by Protestants 
in the practice of the Inquisition, were the people of 
Ireland exposed. All confidence, all security, were taken 
away. When a man was taken up on suspicion, he was 
put to the torture ; nay, if he were merely accused of con- 
cealing the guilt of another. The rack, indeed, was not at 
Land ; but the punishment of picqueting was in practice, 
which had been for some years abolished as too inhuman, 
even in the dragoon service. He had known a man, in 
order to extort a confession of a supposed crime, or of that 
of some of his neighbors, picqueted till he actually fainted 
picqueted a second time till he fainted again, and as 
soon as he came to himself, picqueted a third time till he 
once more fainted ; and all upon mere suspicion ! Nor 
was this the only species of torture. Men had been taken 
and hung up till they were half dead, and then threatened 
with a repetition of the cruel treatment, unless -they made 
confession of the imputed guilt. These were not particular 
acts of cruelty, exercised by men abusing the power com- 
mitted to them, but they formed part of our system. They 
were notorious, and no person could say who would be the 
next victim of this oppression and cruelty, which he saw 
others endure. This, however, was not all : their lordships, 
no doubt, would recollect the famous proclamation issued 
by a military commander in Ireland, requiring the people 
to give up their arms. It never was denied that this proc- 
lamation was illegal, though defended on some supposed 
necessity ; but it was not surprising that some reluctance 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSmCK. 105 

had been shown to comply with it by men who conceived 
the Constitution gave them a right to keep arms in their 
houses for their own defence ; and they could not but feel 
indignation in being called upon to give up their right. 
In the execution of the order the greatest cruelties had 
been committed. If any one was suspected to have con- 
cealed weapons of defence, his house, his furniture, and all 
his property were burnt ; but this was not all. If it were 
supposed that any district had not surrendered all the arms 
which it contained, a party was sent out to collect the 
number at which it was rated ; and, in execution of this order, 
thirty houses were sometimes burnt down in a single night. 
Officers took upon themselves to decide discretionally the 
quantity of arms ; and upon their opinions the fatal conse- 
quences followed. These facts were well-known in Ireland, 
but they could not be made public through the channel of 
the newspapers, for fear of that summary mode of punish- 
ment which had been practised towards the Northern Star, 
when a party of troops in open day, and in a town where 
the General's head-quarters were, went and destroyed all 
the offices and property belonging to that paper. It was 
thus authenticated accounts were suppressed." 

Can any one wonder that the ineffectual attempt at revo- 
lution of 1798 followed such a state of things ? And when, 
in the London Chronicle and Cambridge Intelligencer, and 
other journals by no means favorable to Ireland or its 
people, we read the horrid stories of women ravished, men 
tortured, and farms pillaged, all in the name of law and 
order, and this by King George's soldiers, not more than 
seventy years ago, can we feel astonishment that the Wex- 
ford peasants have grown up to hate the Saxon op- 
pressor? And this we owe to a family of kings who 
used their pretended Protestantism as a cloak for the ill- 
treatment of our Catholic brethren in Ireland. In impeach 



106 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

ing the Brunswicks, we remind the people of proclamations 
officially issued in the King's name, threatening to burn 
and devastate whole parishes, and we allege that the dis- 
affection in Ireland at the present moment is the natural 
fruit of the utter regardlessness, on the part of these 
Guelphs, for human liberty, or happiness, or life. The 
grossest excesses were perpetrated in Ireland by King 
George III.'s foreign auxiliaries. The troops from Hesse 
Cassel, from Hesse Darmstadt, and from Hanover, earned 
an unenviable notoriety by their cruelty, rapacity, and 
licentiousness. And these we owe entirely to the Bruns- 
wicks. 

A letter from the War Office, dated April llth, 1798, 
shows how foreigners were specially selected for the regi- 
ments sent over to Ireland. Sir Ealph Abercromby pub- 
licly rebuked the King's army, of which he was the Com- 
raauder-iii-Chief, for their disgraceful irregularities and 
licentiousness. Even Lieutenant-General Lake admits 
that " the determination of the troops to destroy every one 
they think a rebel is beyond description, and needs correc- 
tion." 

In 1801, it was announced that King George III. was 
suffering from severe cold and sore throat, and could not 
therefore go out in public. His disease, however, was more 
mental than bodily. Her present Majesty has also suffered 
from severe cold and sore throat,. but no allegation is ven- 
tured that her mental condition is such as to unfit her for 
her Royal duties. 

On March 29, 1802, the sum of 990,053 was voted for 
payment of the King's debts. 

In 1803, the Prince of Wales being again in debt, a fur- 
ther vote was passed of 60,000 a year for three years and 
a half. Endeavors were made to increase this grant, but, 
marvellous to relate, the House of Commons actually acted 



TflE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 107 

as if it had some slight interest in the welfare of the people, 
and rejected a motion of Mr. Calcraft for a further rote of 
money to enable his Royal Highness to maintain his state 
and dignit}\ The real effect of the vote actually carried, 
was to provide for 800.649 of the Prince's debts, including 
the vote of 1794. 

On July 21, 1763, 60,000 cash, and a pension of 16,000 
a year, were voted to the Prince of Orange. 

In 1804. King George was very mad, but Mr. Addington 
explained to Parliament, that there was nothing in his 
Majesty's indisposition to prevent his discharging the Royal 
functions. Mr. Gladstone also recentty explained to Par- 
liament, that there would be no delay in the prorogation of 
Parliament in consequence of her gracious Majesty's indis- 
position and absence. 

In 1 805 , the House of Commons directed the criminal prose- 
cution of Lord Melville, for corrupt conduct and embezzle- 
ment of public money, as first Lord of the Admiralty. For 
this, however, impeachment was substituted, and, on his 
trial before the House of Peers, he was acquitted, as out of 
136 peers, only 59 said that they thought him guilty, 
although he had admitted the misapplication of 10,000. 

On the 29th of March, 1806, a warrant was signed by 
King George III., directed to Lord Chancellor Erskine, to 
Lord Grenville, the Prime Minister, to Lord Ellenborough, 
then Lord Chief Justice of England, and to Earl Spencer, 
commanding them to inquire into the conduct of Her Royal 
Highness the Princess of Wales. Before these Lords, 
Charlotte Lady Douglas swore that she had visited the 
Princess, who confessed to having committed adultery, say- 
ing "that she got a bedfellow whenever she could, that 
nothing was more wholesome." Lady Douglas further 
swore to the Princess's pregnancy, and evidence was given 
to prove that she had been delivered of a male child. The 



108 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

whole of this evidence was found to be perjury, and Lady 
Douglas was recommended for prosecution. The only per- 
son to be benefited was George Prince of "Wales, who 
desired to be divorced from his wife, and it is alleged that he 
suborned these witnesses to commit perjury against her. 
At this time the Prince of Wales himself had just added 
Lady Hertfort to the almost interminable muster-roll of his 
loves, and was mixed up in a still more strange and dis- 
graceful transaction, in which he used his personal influence 
to canvass Peers sitting as the highest law court in the 
realm in order to induce them to vote the guardianship 
of Miss Seymour, a niece of Lady Hertfort, to Mrs. Fitz- 
herbert. Spencer Percival, who acted for the Princess of 
Wales, being about to publish the whole of the proceedings 
of the Royal Commissioners, with the evidence and their 
verdict, his book was quietly suppressed, and he received a 
reward a post in the Cabinet. It is said that George 
III. directed the report of the Commissioners to be de- 
stroyed, and every trace of the whole affair to be buried in 
oblivion. 

For some years rumors had been current of corruption in 
the administration of military promotion under the Duke of 
York, just as for some time past rumors have been current 
of abuse of patronage under his Royal Highness the present 
Duke of Cambridge, A Major Hogan, in 1808, published a 
declaration that he lost his promotion because he had re- 
fused to give the sum of 600 to the Duke of York's 
"Venus." 

On the 27th January, 1809, Colonel Wardle who is 
said to have been prompted to the course by his Royal 
Highness the Duke of Kent rose in his place in the House 
of Commons, and formally charged his Royal Highness 
Frederick Duke of York with corruption in the adminis- 
tration of army patronage. 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 109 

It is difficult to determine how far credit should be given 
to the statements of Mrs. Clarke, who positively alleges 
that she was bribed to betray the Duke of York by his 
brother, the Duke of Kent, the father of her present 
Majesty. It is quite certain that Major Dodd, the private 
secretary of the Duke of Kent, was most active in collect- 
ing and marshalling the evidence in support of the various 
charges made in the Commons against the Duke of York. 
The Duke of Kent, however, after the whole business was 
over, formally and officially denied that he was directly or 
indirectly mixed up in the business. It is clear that much 
bitter feeling had for some time existed between the Dukes 
of York and Kent. In a pamphlet published about that 
time, we find the following remarkable passages relating to 
the Duke of Kent's removal from his military command at 
Gibraltar : "It is, however, certain that the creatures 
whom we could name, and who are most in his [the Duke of 
York's] confidence, were, to a man, instructed and indus- 
triously employed in traducing the character and well- 
merited fame of the Duke of Kent, by misrepresenting his 
conduct with all the baseness of well-trained sycophants. 
Moreover, we need not hesitate in saying that this efficient 
Commander-in-Chief, contrary to the real sentiments of his 
Majesty, made use of his truly dangerous and undue influ- 
ence with the confidential servants of the Crown to got his 
brother recalled from the Government of Gibraltar, under 
a disingenous pretext, and at a risk of promoting sedition 
in the army." 

In another pamphlet, dated 1808, apparently printed on 
behalf of the Duke of Kent, we find it suggested that the 
Duke of York had used Sir Hew Dalrymple as a spy on his 
brother the Duke of Kent at Gibraltar. Whether the 
Duke of York slandered the Duke of Kent, and whether 
the Queen's father revenged himself by getting up the case 



110 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

for Colonel Wardle, others must decide. The following 
extracts from this gentleman's address to the House of 
Commons are sufficient to put the material points before 
our readers : 

" In the year 1803, his Royal Highness the Commander- 
in-Chief took a handsome house, set up a full retinue of 
servants and horses, and also a lady of the name of Clarke. 
Captain Tonyn, of the 48th Regiment, was introduced by 
Captain Sandon, of the Ro}*al Wagon Train, to this Mrs. 
Clarke, and it was agreed that, upon his being promoted to 
the majority of the 31st Regiment, he should pay her 500. 
The 500 lodged with Mr. Donovan by Captain Sandon, 
was paid by him to Mrs. Clarke. The difference between 
a company and a majority is 1,100; this lady received 
only 500, while the half-pay fund lost the whole sum, for 
the purpose of putting 500 into the pocket of Mrs. 
Clarke. This 500 was paid by Mrs. Clarke to Mr. Per- 
kins, a silversmith, in part payment for a service of plate ; 
that the Commander-in-Chief made good the remainder, 
and that the goods were sent to his house in Gloucester 
Place. From this I infer, first, that Mrs. Clarke possesses 
the power of military promotion ; secondly, that she 
received a pecuniary consideration for such promotion ; 
and thirdly, that the Commander-in-Chief was a partaker 
in the benefit arising from such transactions. In this case, 
there are no less than five different persons as witnesses, 
viz., Major Tonyn, Mrs. Clarke, Mr. Donovan, Captain 
Sandon, and the executor of Mr. Perkins, the silversmith. 

" The next instance is of Lieutenant Colebrook, of the 
56th Regiment. It was agreed that Mrs. Clarke should 
receive 200 upon Lieutenant Colebrook's name appearing 
in the Gazette^ for promotion. At that moment, this 
lady was anxious to go on an excursion into the country, 
and she stated to his Royal Highness that she had an 



THE HOUSE OF BRVNSinCK. Ill 

opportunity of getting 200 to defray the expenses of it, 
without applying to him. This was stated upon a Thurs- 
day, and on the Saturday following, this officer's na*me 
appeared in the Gazette, and he was accordingly pro- 
moted ; upon which Mr. Tuck waited on the lady and paid 
her the money. To this transaction the witnesses are 
Lieutenant Colebrook, Mr. Tuck, and Mrs. Clarke." 

After instancing further cases, Colonel Wardle stated 
that : 

" At this very hour there is a public office in the cit} 7 
where commissions are still offered at the reduced prices 
which Mrs. Clarke chooses to exact for them. The agents 
there have declared to me that they are now employed by 
the present favorite, Mrs. Carey. They have not only 
declared this as relative to military commissions, but they 
have carried it much farther ; for, in addition to commis- 
sions in the army, places of all descriptions, both in 
Church and State, are transacted at their office ; and these 
agents do not hesitate to give it under their own hands, 
that they are employed by many of the first officers in his 
Majesty's service." 

On the examination of witnesses, and general inquiry, 
which lasted seven weeks, the evidence was overwhelming ; 
but the Duke of York, having written a letter, pledged his 
honor as a Prince that he was innocent, was acquitted, 
although at least one hundred and twelve members of Par- 
liament voted for a verdict of condemnation. In the 
course of the debate Lord Temple said that " he found the 
Duke of York deeply criminal in allowing this woman to 
interfere in his official duties. The evidence brought for- 
ward by accident furnished convincing proofs of this 
crime. It was evident in French's lev} r . It was evident 
in the case of Dr. O'Meara, this minister of purity, this 
mirror of virtue, who, professing a call from God, could so 



112 THE HOUSE OF 

far debase himself, so far abuse his sacred vocation, as to 
solicit a recommendation from such a person as Mrs. 
Clarke, by which, with an eye to a bishopric, he obtained 
an opportunity of preaching before tho King. "What could 
be said in justification of his Royal Highness for allowing 
this hypocrite to come down to Weymouth under a patron- 
age, unbecoming his duty, rank, and situation ? " 

Mr. Tierney in reply to a taunt of the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer, that Colonel Wardle had been tutored by 
" cooler heads " said : " He would state that the Duke 
of York had got his letter drawn up by weaker heads ; he 
would, indeed, add something worse, if it were not unpar- 
liamentary to express it. The Duke- of York was, he was 
persuaded, too manly to subscribe that letter, if he were 
aware of the base, unworthy, and mean purposes to which 
it was to be applied. It was easy to conceive that his 
Royal Highness would have been prompt to declare his 
innocence upon a vital point ; but why declare it upon the 
'honor of a Prince,' for the thing had no meaning?" 

Mr. Lyttleton declared that " if it were in the power 
of the House to send down to posterity the character 
of the Duke of York unsullied if their proceedings did 
not extend beyond their journals, he should be almost 
inclined to concur in the vote of acquittal, even in opposi- 
tion to his sense of duty. But though the House should 
acquit his Royal Highness, the proofs would still remain, 
and the public opinion would be guided by them, and not 
by the decision of the House. It was in the power of the 
House to save its own character, but not that of the 
Commander-in-Chief." 

It is alleged that the Queen herself by no means stood 
with clean hands ; that in connection with Lady Jersey and 
a Doctor Randolph, her Majesty realized an enormous sum 
by the sale of cadetships for the East Indies. 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 113 

On the 31st Ma}-, 1810, London was startled by the nar- 
rative of a terrible tragedy. His Royal Highness Ernest 
Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, afterwards King of Han- 
over, and who, while King of Hanover, drew 24,000 a 
year from the pockets of English taxpayers, was wounded 
in his own room in the dead of night, by some man whom he 
did not see, although the room was lighted by a lamp, and 
although his Royal Highness saw " a letter " which lay on 
a night table, and which letter was "covered with blood." 
The wounds are said to have been sword wounds inflicted 
with an intent to assassinate, by Joseph Sellis, a valet of 
the Duke, who is also said to have immediately afterwards 
committed suicide by cutting his own throat. General Sir B. 
Stephenson, who saw the body of Sellis, but who was not 
examined at the inquest, swore that " the head was nearly 
severed from the body." Sellis's cravat had been cut 
through and taken off his neck. Sir Everard Home and 
Sir Henry Halford were the physicians present at St. 
James's Palace the day of this tragedy, and two surgeons 
were present at the inquest, but no medical or surgical 
evidence was taken as to whether or not the death of Sellis 
was the result of suicide or murder ; but a cheesemonger 
was called to prove that twelve years before he had heard 
Sellis say, " Damn the King and the Royal Family ; " and 
a maid servant was called to prove that fourteen years 
before Sellis had said, " Damn the Almighty." Despite 
this conclusive evidence, many horrible rumors were cur- 
rent, which, at the time, were left uncontradicted ; but on 
the 17th April, 1832, his Royal Highness the Duke of Cum- 
berland made an affidavit in which he swore that he had not 
murdered Sellis himself, and that " in case the said person 
named Sellis did not die by his own hands," then that he, 
the Duke, " was not any way, in any manner, privy or 
accessory to his death." His Royal Highness also swore 



114 THE IIOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

that " he never did commit, nor had any intention of com- 
mitting, the detestable crime," which it had pretended 
Sellis had discovered the Duke in the act of committing. 
This of course entirely clears the Queen's uncle from all 
suspicion. Daniel O'Connell, indeed, described him as 
" the mighty great liar ; " but with the general character 
for truthfulness of the family, it would be in the highest 
degree improper to suggest even the semblance of a doubt. 
It was proved upon the inquest that Sellis was a sober, 
quiet man, in the habit of daily shaving the Duke, and that 
he had never exhibited any suicidal or homicidal tenden- 
cies. It therefore appears that he tried to wound or kill 
his Eoyal Highness without any motive, and under circum- 
stances in which he knew discovery was inevitable, and 
that he then killed himself with a razor, cutting his head 
almost off his body, severing it to the bone. When Mat- 
thew Henry Graslin first saw the body, he " told them all 
that Sellis had been murdered," and although he was called 
on the inquest he does not say one word as to the condition 
of Sellis's body, or as to whether or not he believes it to 
have been a suicide. Of all the persons who saw the body 
of Sellis, and they appear to be many, only one, a sergeant 
in the Coldstreams, gave the slightest evidence as to the 
state in which the body was found, and no description 
whatever was given, on the inquest, of the nature of the 
fearful wound which had nearly severed Sellis's head from 
his body ; nor, although it was afterwards proved by sworn 
evidence that Sellis's cravat " was cut through the whole 
of the folds, and the inside fold was tinged with blood," 
was any evidence offered as to this on the inquest, although 
it shows that Sellis must have first tried to cut his throat 
through his cravat and that having partially but ineffect- 
ively cut his throat, he then took off his cravat and gave 
himself with tremendous force the gash which caused his 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 115 

death. It is said that the razor with which Sellis killed 
himself was found two feet from the bed, and on the left- 
hand side ; but although it was stated that Sellis was a 
left-handed man, no evidence was offered of this, and on 
the contrary, the bloocty hand marks, said to have been 
made by Sellis on the doors, were all on the right hand. 
It is a great nuisance when people you are mixed up with 
commit suicide. Undoubtedly, Sellis must have killed him- 
self. The journals tell us how Lord Graves killed himself 
long years afterward. The Duke of Cumberland and Lady 
Graves, the widow, rode out together very shortly after the 
suicide. 

In the Rev. Erskine Neale's Life of the Duke of Kent it 
is stated that a surgeon of note, who saw Sellis after his 
death, declared that there were several wounds on the back 
of the neck which it was physically impossible Sellis could 
have self-inflicted. In a lecture to his pupils the surgeon 
repeated this in strong language, declaring that " no man 
can behead himself." 

The madness of George III. having become too violent 
and too continual to permit it to be any longer hidden from 
the people, the Prince of Wales was, in 1811, declared 
Regent, with limited powers, and 70,000 a year additional 
was voted for the Regent's expenses, and a further 10,000 
a year also granted to the Queen as custodian of her hus- 
band. The grant to the Queen was the more outrageous, 
as her great wealth and miserly conduct were well known. 
When the Regent was first appointed, he authorized the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer to declare officially to the 
House of Commons, that he would riot add to the burdens 
of the nation; and yet, in 1812, the allowance voted was 
made retrospective, so as to include every hour of his office. 

In the discussion in Parliament on the proposed Regency, 
it appeared that the people had been for a considerable 



116 THE HOUSE OF BltUNSWICK. 

period utterly deceived on the subject of the King's illness ; 
and that, although his Majesty had been for some time 
blind, deaf, and delirious, the Ministry, representing the 
King to be competent, had dared to carry on the Govern- 
ment whilst George III. was in every sense incapaci- 
tated. It is worthy of notice, that the Right Honorable 
Benjamin Disraeli, the leader of the great Conservative 
party in this country, publicly declared on September 26th, 
1871, that her present Majestry, Queen Victoria, was both 
"physically and morally" incapable of performing her 
regal functions. One advantage of having the telegraph 
wires in the hands of Government is shown by the fact that 
all the telegraphic summaries omitted the most momentous 
words of Mr. Disraeli's speech. During the debate in the 
session of 1811, it was shown that when the King was mad 
in the month of March, 1804, he had on the 4th been repre- 
sented by Lord Eldon as if he had given his assent to a bill 
granting certain lands to the Duke of York, and on the 9th 
as if he had signed a commission. 

Earl Grey stated that it was notorious that on two occa- 
sions the Great Seal had been employed as if by his Maj- 
esty's command, while he was insane. The noble earl also 
declared that, in 1801, the King was mad for some weeks, 
and yet during that time councils were held, members 
sworn to it, and acts done requiring the King's sanction. 
Sir Francis Burdett said, " that to have a person at the 
head of affairs who had long been incapable of signing his 
name to a document without some one to guide his hand ; 
a person long incapable of receiving petitions, of even 
holding a levee, or discharging the most ordinary functions 
of his office, and now afflicted with this mental malady, 
was a most mischievous example to the people of this 
country, while it had a tendency to expose the Government 
to the contempt of foreign nations." 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 117 

One of the earliest acts of the Prince Regent was to re- 
appoint his brother, the Duke of York, to the office of 
Comrnander-in-Chief. A motion was proposed by Lord 
Milton, in the House of Commons, declaring this appoint- 
ment to be " highly improper and indecorous." The Min- 
istry were, however, sufficiently powerful to negative this 
resolution by a large majority. Though His Royal High- 
ness had resigned his high office when assailed with charges 
of the grossest corruption, he was permitted to resume the 
command of the army without even a protest, save from a 
minority of the House of Commons, and from a few of the 
unrepresented masses. The chief mistress of the Prince 
Regent at this time was the Marchioness of Hertford ; and 
the Courier, then the ministerial journal, had the cool im- 
pudence to speak of her as "Britain's guardian angel,' 
because her influence had been used to hinder the carrying 
any measure for the relief of the Irish Catholics. Amongst 
the early measures under the Regency, was the issue in 
Ireland of a circular letter addressed to the Sheriffs and 
Lord Lieutenants of the counties, forbidding the meetings 
of Catholics, and threatening all Catholic committees with 
arrest and imprisonment. This, however, was so grossly 
illegal, that it had shortly after to be abandoned, a Protes- 
tant jury having refused to convict the first prisoners 
brought to trial. It is curious to read the arguments 
against Catholic Emancipation pleaded in the Courier, one 
being that during the whole of his reign, George III. " is 
known to have felt the most conscientious and irrevocable 
objections " to any such measure of justice to his unfortu- 
nate Irish subjects. 

In 1812 we had much poverty in England ; aud though 
this was not dealt with by Parliament, 100,000 was 
granted to Lord Wellington, and 200,000 voted for Rus- 
sian sufferers by the French war. We had a few months 



118 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

previously voted 100,000 for the relief of the Portuguese 
against the French. On a message from the Prince Regent, 
annuities of 9,000 each were also granted to the four 
Princesses, exclusive of 4,000 from the Civil List. The 
message from the Prince Regent for the relief of the " Rus- 
sian sufferers" was brought down on the 17th of Decem- 
ber ; and it is a curious fact that while Lord Castlereagh 
and Lord Liverpool were eulogizing the Russians for their 
" heroic patriotism " in burning Moscow, the Russians 
themselves were declaring in the St. Petersburgh Gazette 
that the deed was actually committed by " the impious 
French," on whose heads the Gazette invoked the ven- 
geance of God. 

In 1812, the Prince Regent gave a sinecure office, that of 
Paymaster of Widows' Pensions, to his " confidential ser- 
vant," Colonel Macmahon. The nature of the sort of pri- 
vate services which had been for some years performed by 
this gallant colonel for this virtuous Prince may be better 
guessed than described. Mr. Henry Brougham declared 
the appointment to be an insult to Parliament. It was 
vigorously attacked indoors and out of doors, and, in obe- 
dience to the voice of popular opinion, the Commons voted 
the immediate abolition of the office. To recompense 
Colonel Macmahou for the loss of his place, he was imme- 
diate^ appointed Keeper of the Privy Purse and Private 
Secretary to the Prince Regent. This appointment was 
also severely criticised ; and although the Government 
were sufficiently powerful to defeat the attack in the Com- 
mons, they were yet compelled, by the strong protest made 
by the public against such an improper appointment, to 
nominally transfer the salary to the Regent's privy purse. 
The transfer was not real, as, the Civil List being always 
in debt, the nation had in fact ultimately to pay the money. 

In 1813, foreign subsidies to the amount of 11,000,000, 



THE HOUSE OF BKUNSWICK. 119 

and 100,000 stand of arms, were voted by the English Par- 
liament. Out of the above, Portugal received 2,000,000, 
Sicily, 400,000, Spain, 2,000,000, Sweden, 1,000,000, 
Russia and Prussia, 3,000,000, Austria, 1,000,000, besides 
stores sent to Germany to the amount of 2,000,000 more. 

This year his Ro} r al Highness the Prince Regent went to 
Ascot races, where he was publicly dunned by a Mr. Vaux- 
hall Clarke for a betting debt incurred some years before, 
and left unpaid. 

Great excitement was created in and out of Parliament 
by the complaint of the Princess of Wales that she was not 
allowed to see- her daughter, the Princess Charlotte. The 
Prince Regent formally declared, through the Speaker of 
the House of Commons, that he would not meet, on any 
occasion, public or private, the Princess of Wales (whom it 
was urged that " he had been forced to marry") ; while the 
Princess of Wales wrote a formal letter to Parliament com- 
plaining that her character had been " traduced by sub- 
orned perjury." Princess Charlotte refused to be presented 
at Court except by her mother, who was not allo'wed to go 
there. In the House of Commons, Mr. Whitbread charged 
the Lords Commissioners with unduly straining the evi- 
dence by leading questions ; and Lord Ellenborough, in his 
place in the House of Peers, declared that the accusation 
was " as false as hell." Ultimately, it was admitted that 
the grave charges against the Princess of Wales were 
groundless, and 35,000 a year was voted to her, she 
agreeing to travel abroad. Mr. Bathurst, a sinecurist pen- 
sioner, pleading on behalf of the Prince Regent that the 
House of Commons ought not to interfere, urged that it 
was no unusual thing to have dissensions in the Royal 
Family, and that they had been frequent in the reigns of 
George I. and George II. Mr. Stuart Wortley, in the 
course of a severe speech in reply to Lord Castlereagh, de- 



120 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

clared that " we had a Royal Famih r which took no warn- 
ing from what was said or thought about them, and seemed 
to be the only persons in the country who were wholly 
regardless of their own welfare and respectability." 

The Princess Charlotte of Wales was at this time resid- 
ing in Warwick House, and some curiosity was aroused by 
the dismissal, by order of the Prince Regent, of all her 
servants. This was immediatel}' followed by the flight of 
the Princess from the custod}* of her father to the residence 
of her mother, the Princess of Wales. Persuaded to 
return to the Prince Regent by her mother, Lord Eldon, 
and others, she appears to have been really detained as a 
sort of prisoner, for we find the Duke of Sussex soon after 
complaining in the House of Lords that he was unable to 
obtain access to the Princess, and asking by whose author- 
ity she was kept in durance. Happy family, these Bruns- 
wicks ! 

In 1814, 100,000 further was devoted to the Duke of 
Wellington, together with an annuity of 10,000 a year, to 
be at any time commuted for 300,000. The income of the 
Duke of Wellington, from places, pensions, and grants, 
amounted to an enormous sum. At present we pay his 
heir 4*000 a year for having inherited his father's riches. 

During the year 1814, 118,857 was voted for payment 
of the Civil List debts. 

The Emperor of Russia and King of Prussia, after the 
restoration of Louis XVIII., visited the Prince Regent in 
this country, when the following squib was published : 

" There be princes three, 
Two of them come from a far countrie, 
And for valor and prudence their names shall be 
Enrolled in the annals of glorie. 
The third is said at a bottle to be 
More than a match for his whole armie, 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 121 

And fonder of fur caps and fripperie 
Than any recorded in storie. 
Those from the North great warriors be, 
And warriors have in their companie, 
But he of the South must stare to see , 
Himself in such goodly companie. 
For to say what his usual consorts be, 
Would make but a pitiful storie." 

On the 12th of August, 1814, the Princess of "Wales 
quitted England, and it is alleged that, on the evening 
prior to her departure, the Prince Regent, having as usual 
drank much wine, proposed a toast, " To the Princess of 
Wales' damnation, and may she never return to England." 
Whether this story, which Dr. Doran repeats, be true or 
false, it is certain that the Prince Regent hated his wife 
with a thoroughly merciless hatred. When the death of 
Napoleon was known in Ennland, a gentleman, thinking to 
gain favor with George IV., said, " Your Majesty's bitter- 
est enemy is dead." The "first gentleman of Europe" 
thought only of his wife, and replied, " Is she, by God ! " 

The highly esteemed and virtuous Duke of Cumberland 
was married at Berlin to the Princess of Salms, a widow 
who had been twice married, once betrothed, and once 
divorced. The lady was niece to the Queen of England, 
who refused to receive her publicly or privately. On this 
refusal being known, a letter was published in the news- 
papers, written and signed by the Queen herself, to her 
brother the Duke of Mecklenburgh-Strelitz, the father of the 
bride, in which letter the Queen gave assurances of a kind 
reception to the bride on her arrival in England. The 
Queen's friends replied that the Queen's letter was only 
written to be shown to the German Courts on the condition 
that the Duchess should not come to England. Curious 



122 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

notions of truth and honor seem current among these 
Brunswicks ! 

On the 27th of June, the Lords, on a message from the 
Prince Regent, voted an additional allowance of 6,000 a 
year to the Duke of Cumberland in consequence of the 
marriage. In the House of Commons, after a series of 
very warm debates, in which Lord Castlereagh objected to 
answer " any interrogatories tending to vilify the Royal 
Family," the House ultimately refused to grant the allow- 
ance by 126 votes against 125. 

One historian says : " The demeanor of the Duchess of 
Cumberland in this country has been, to say the least, 
unobtrusive and unimpeached; but it must be confessed 
that a disastrous fatality something inauspicious and 
indescribable attaches to the Prince, her husband. 

This year 200,000 further was voted to the Duke of 
Wellington, for the purchase of an estate, although it 
appeared from one Member of Parliament's speech that the 
vote should rather have been to the Prince Regent. 
"Who," he asked, " had rendered the army efficient? The 
Prince Regent by restoring the Duke of York to the 
Horse Guards. Who had gained the Battle of Waterloo ? 
The Prince Regent by giving the command of the army 
to the Duke of Wellington ! ! " The Prince Regent him- 
self had even a stronger opinion on the matter. Thacke- 
ray says : " I believe it is certain about George IV. that he 
had heard so much of the war, knighted so many people, 
and worn such a prodigious quantity of marshal's uni- 
forms, cocked hats, cocks' feathers, scarlet and bullion in 
general, that he actually fancied he had been present at 
some campaigns, and under the name of General Brock led 
a tremendous charge of the German legion at Waterloo." 

In 181 6, Prince Leopold of Coburg Saalfeld, a very petty 
German Prince, without estate or position, married the 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 



123 



Princess Charlotte of Wales, as if he were a Protestant, al- 
though he most certainly on other occasions acted as if he 
belonged to the Catholic Church. A grant of 60,000 a 
year was made to the royal couple ; 60,000 was given for 
the wedding outfit, and 50,000 secured to Prince Leopold 
for life, in the event of his surviving the Princess. And 
although this was done, it was well known to the Prince Re- 
gent and the members of the Government, that on the 2d 
January of the previous year, a marriage ceremony, accord- 
ing to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church, had been 
performed, by which the Prince Leopold was united to the 
Countess of Cohaky. Bigamy appears to be a fashionable 
vice, and one to which these Bruns wicks never raise any 
objection. 

On the 9th December, the City of London presented an 
address to the Prince Regent, in which they complained of 
" immense subsidies to foreign powers to defend their own 
territories, or to commit aggressions on those of their neigh- 
bors," of an unconstitutional and unprecedented military 
force in time of peace, of the unexampled and increasing 
magnitude of the Civil List, of the enormous sums paid for 
unmerited pensions and sinecures, and of a long course of 
the most lavish and improvident expenditure of the public 
money throughout every branch of the Government." This 
address appears to have deeply wounded the Regent, and 
the expressions of stern rebuke he used in replying, coupled 
with a rude sulkiness of mannex, were ungracious and un- 
warrantable. He emphasized his answer with pauses and 
frowns, and turned on his heel as soon as he had delivered 
it. And yet at this moment hundreds of thousands in 
England were starving. Kind monarchs these Bruns- 
wicks ! 

Early in 1817, the general distress experienced in all 
parts of England, and which had been for some time on the 



124 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

increase, was of a most severe character. Meetings in 
London and the provinces grew frequent, and were most 
numerously attended, and on February 3d, in consequence 
of a message from the Prince Regent, Committees of 
Secrecy were appointed by the Lords and Commons, to in- 
quire into the character of the various movements. The 
Government was weak and corrupt, but the people lacked 
large-minded leaders, and the wide-spread discontent of the 
masses of the population rendered some of their number 
easy victims to the police spies who manufactured political 
plots. 

On the 6th of November, 1817, Princess Charlotte of 
Wales died. Complaints were raised that the Princess had 
not been fairly treated, and some excitement was created by 
the fact that Sir Richard Croft, the doctor who attended her, 
soon after committed suicide, and that the public and the 
reporters were not allowed to be present at the inquest. No 
notice whatever of the Princess's death was forwarded to 
her mother, the Princess of Wales. In a letter to the Duke 
of Buckingham, Mr. Wynn speaks of this as " the most 
brutal omission I ever remember, and one which would 
attach disgrace in private life." At this very time a large 
sum of money was being wasted in the employment of per- 
sons to watch the Princess of Wales on her foreign travels. 
In her correspondence we find the Princess complaining that 
her letters were opened and read, and that she was sur- 
rounded with spies. From the moment that George III. 
was declared incurable, and his death approaching, there 
seems little doubt that desperate means were resorted to to 
manufacture evidence against the Princess to warrant a 
divorce. 

On July 13th, 1818, Ms Royal Highness the Duke of 
Clarence married Adelaide, Princess of Saxe Meiningen, 
and his Royal Highness the Duke of Kent married her 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 125 

Serene Highness Victoria, Princess of Leiningen. The 
Duke of Clarence, of course, had voted to him an additional 
allowance of 6,000 a year on entering the married state, 
although he was already receiving from the country more 
than 21,000 a year in cash, and a house rent free. It is 
highly edifying to read that during the debates in Par- 
liament, and when some objection was raised to the extra 
sums proposed to be voted to one of- the Royal Dukes, Mr. 
Canning pleaded, as a reason for the payment, that his 
Royal Highness was not marrying " for his own private 
gratification, but because he had been advised to do so for 
the political purposes of providing succession to the throne." 
Pleasant this for the lady, and glorious for the country 
Royal breeding machines ! The Duke of Kent, who had 
the same additional vote, had about 25,000 a year, besides 
a grant of 20,000 towards the payment of his debts, and 
a loan of 6,000 advanced in 1806, of which up to the time 
of his marriage only 1,000 had been repaid. 

Of Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent, father of her present 
Majesty, it is only necessary to say a few words. The 
fourth son of George III. was somewhat better than his 
brothers, and perhaps for this very reason he seems always 
to have been disliked, and kept at a distance by his father, 
mother, and brothers. Nor was the Duke of Kent less dis- 
liked amongst the army, which he afterwards commanded. 
Very few of the officers loved him, and the bulk of the 
privates seem to have regarded him with the most hostile 
feelings. Kept very short of money by his miserly father 
and mother, he had, even before bis majority, incurred 
considerable debts ; and coming to England in 1790, in 
order to try and induce the King to make him some suffi- 
cient allowance, he was ordered to quit England in ten days. 
While allowances were made to all the other sons of George, 
the Duke of Kent had no Parlimentary vote until he was 



126 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

thirty-three years of age. In 1802 he was appointed Gov- 
ernor of Gibraltar, where a mutiny took place, and the 
Duke had a narrow escape of his life. The Duke of Kent's 
friends allege that this mutiny was encouraged by officers 
of the highest rank, secretly sustained by the Duke of 
York. The Duke of York's friends, on the contrary, maintain 
that the overbearing conduct of the Duke of Kent, his severi- 
ty in details, and general harshness in command, alone pro- 
duced the result. The Duke of Kent was recalled from the 
Government of Gibraltar, and for some months the pamphlet- 
eers were busy on behalf of the two Dukes, each seeking to 
prove that the royal brother of Ms royal client was a dis- 
honorable man. Pleasant people, these Brunswicks ! If 
either side wrote the truth, one of the Dukes was a 
rascal. If neither side wrote the truth, both were. The fol- 
lowing extract from a pamphlet by Mary Anne Clarke, 
mistress of the Duke of York, will serve to show the nature 
of the publications I refer to : "I believe there is scarcely 
a military man in the kingdom who was at Gibraltar during 
the Duke of Kent's command of that fortress but is satisfied 
that the Duke of York's refusal of a court martial to his 
royal brother afforded an incontestible proof of his regard for 
the military character and honor of the Duke of Kent ; for if 
a court martial had been granted to the Governor of Gibral- 
tar, I always understood there was but one opinion as to what 
would have been the result; and then the Duke of Kent 
would have lost several thousands a year, and incurred such 
public reflections that would, most probably, have been 
painful to his honorable and acute feelings. It was, how- 
ever, this act of affection for the Duke of Kent that laid the 
foundation of that hatred which has followed the Com- 
mander-in-Chieif up to the present moment ; and to this 
unnatural feeling he is solely indebted for all the misfortunes 
and disgrace to which he has been introduced. In one of 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 127 

the many conversations which I had with Majors Dodd and 
Glennie, upon the meditated ruin of the Duke of York, 
they informed me that their royal friend had made every 
endeavor in his power to poison the King's ear against the 
Commander-in-Chief, but as Colonel Taylor was so much 
about the person of his Majesty, all his efforts had proved 
ineffectual ; and to have spoken his sentiments before Colo- 
nel Taylor would have been very injudicious, as he would 
immediately have communicated them to the Commander- 
iu-Chief, who, though he knew this time ( said these confi- 
dential and worthy patriots ) that the Duke of Kent was 
supporting persons to write against him, and that some par- 
liamentary proceedings were upon the eve of bursting upon 
the public attention, yet deported himself towards his royal 
brother as if they lived but for each other's honor and hap- 
piness ; and the Duke of Kent, to keep up appearances, was 
more particular in his attentions to the Duke of York than 
he had ever been before." 

Despite the Duke of Kent's recall, he continued to re- 
ceive salary and allowances as Governor. After the cele- 
bration of the marriage, he resided abroad, and was on such 
unfriendly terms with his family that when he returned 
from Amorbach to England, it was against the express 
orders of the Prince Regent, who, shortly after meeting his 
brother at the Spanish Ambassador's, took not the slightest 
notice of him. 

On the 17th November, 1818, the Queen died, and the 
custody of the body of the mad, deaf, and blind monarch 
of England was nominally transferred to the Duke of York, 
who was voted an extra 10,000 a year for performing the 
duty of visiting his royal father twice a week. Objection 
was ineffectually raised that his Royal Highness had also 
his income as Commander-in-Chief and General Officer, 
and it might have also been added, his pensions and his 



128 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

income as Prince Bishop of Osnaburg. Mr. Curwen said : 
"Considering how complete the revenue of his Eoyal 
Highness was from public emoluments, he could not con- 
sent to grant him one shilling upon the present occasion." 

In 1819, the Duke of Kent tried to get up a lottery for 
the sale of his Castlebar estate, in order to pay his debts, 
which were then about 70,000, but the project, being op- 
posed by the Prince Regent, fell to the ground. 

On the 24th of May, 1819, her present Majesty was born ; 
and on the 23d of January, 1820, the Duke of Kent, her 
father, died. 

On the 29th of January, 1820, after a sixty years' reign 
in which debt, dishonor, and disgrace accrued to the nation 
he reigned over George III. died. The National Debt 
at the date of his accession to the throne was about 
150,000,000 ; at his death it was about 900,000,000. 

Phillimore asks : " Had it not been for the unlimited 
power of borrowing, how many unjust and capricious wars 
would have been avoided ! How different would be our 
condition, and the condition of our posterity ! If half the 
sum lavished to prevent any one bearing the name of 
Napoleon from residing in France, for replacing the Bour- 
bons on the thrones of France and Naples, for giving Bel- 
gium to Holland, Norway to Sweden, Finland to Russia, 
Venice and Lombardy to Austria, had been employed by 
individual enterprise, what would now be the resources of 
England?" 

An extract, giving Lord Brougham's summary of George 
ni.'s life and character, may, we think, fairly serve to close 
this chapter : " Of a narrow understanding, which no cul- 
ture had enlarged ; of an obstinate disposition, which no 
education perhaps could have humanized ; of strong feel- 
ings in ordinary things, and a resolute attachment to all 
his own opinions and predilections, George IH. possessed 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 129 

much of the firmness of purpose which, being exhibited by 
men of contracted mind without any discrimination, and as 
pertinaciously when they are in the wrong as when they 
are in the right, lends to their characters an appear- 
ance of inflexible consistency, which is often mistaken for 
greatness of mind, and not seldom received as a substitute 
for honesty. In all that related to his kingly office he was 
the slave of deep-rooted selfishness ; and no feeling of a 
kindly nature ever was allowed access to his bosom when- 
ever his power was concerned." 



CHAPTER V. 

THE REIGN OF GEOKGE IV. 

THE wretched reign of George IV. commenced on the 
30th January, 1820. Mr. Buckle speaks of " the incredible 
baseness of that ignoble voluptuary who succeeded George 
III. on the throne." The coronation was delayed for a 
considerable period, partly in consequence of the hostility 
between the King and his unfortunate wife, and partly 
because of the cost. We find the Right Hon. Thomas 
Grenville writing of the coronation : " I think it probable 
that it will be put off, because the King will not like it un- 
less it be expensive, and Vansittart knows not how to pay 
for it if it is." Generous monarchs, these Brunswicks ! 
Thousands at that moment were in a state of starvation in 
England, Scotland, and Ireland. Lord Cassilis writes: 
"There seems nothing but chaos and desolation whatever 
way a man may turn himself . . . the lower orders existing 
only from the circumstance of the produce of the land 
being unmarketable. . . The weavers are certainly em- 
ployed, but they cannot earn more than from six to eight 



130 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

shillings a week. Such is our state." When the corona- 
tion did ultimately take place, some strange expenses crept 
in. Diamonds were charged for to the extent, it is said, 
of 80,000, which found their way to one of the King's 
favored mistresses. The crown itself was made up with 
hired jewels, which were kept for twenty-one months after 
the coronation, and for the hire of which alone the country 
paid 11,000. The charge for coronation robes was 
24,000. It was in consequence of Sir Benjamin Bloom- 
field having to account for some of the diamonds purchased 
that he resigned his position in the King's household. 
Bather than be suspected of dishonesty, he preferred 
revealing that they had reached the hands of Lady Co- 
nyngham. Sir George Naylor, in an infamously servile 
publication, for which book alone the country paid 3,000, 
describes " the superb habiliments which his Majesty, not 
less regardful of the prosperity of the people than of the splen- 
dor of his throne, was pleased to enjoin should be worn upon 
the occasion of his Majesty's sacred coronation." 

Sir William Knighton declares that on the news of the 
King's death reaching the Prince Regent, " the fatal tidings 
were received with a burst of grief that was very affecting." 
The King had been mad and blind and deaf for ten years, 
and the Queen, years before, had complained of the Prince's 
conduct as unfilial, if not inhuman. With the Prince 
Regent's known character, this sudden burst of grief is 
really " very affecting." 

On the 23d of February, London was startled with the 
news of what since has been described as the Cato Street 
Conspiracy. The trial of Arthur Thistlewood and his mis- 
guided associates is valuable for one lesson. The man 
who found money for the secret conspirators, and who 
incited them to treason and murder, was one George 
Edwards. This Edwards was well described by one of the 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 131 

journals of the period, " as neither more nor less than the 
confidential agent of the original conspirators, to hire for 
them the treasons they have a purpose in detecting." By 
original conspirators were meant Lord Castlereagh and 
Lord Sidmouth. In the House of Commons, Mr. Alderman 
Wood moved formally, " That George Ed wards be brought 
to the bar of the House on a breach of privilege. He 
pledged himself, if he had this incendiary in his hands, to 
convict him of the crimes imputed ; he hoped he had not 
been suffered to escape beyond seas ; otherwise there were 
honorable gentlemen who were in possession of him, so 
that he might be produced" meaning by this that he was 
kept out of the way by the Government. " He regarded 
him as the sole author and contriver of the Cato Street 
plot. It was strange how such a man should be going 
about from public house to public house, nay, from one 
private house to another, boldly and openly instigating to 
such plots ; and, in the midst of this, should become, from 
abject poverty, suddenly flush with money, providing arms, 
and supplying all conspirators." Mr. Hume seconded the 
motion. " It appeared by the depositions, not of one person 
only, but of a great many persons, that the individual in 
question had gone about from house to house with hand- 
grenades, and, up to twentyxfour hours only preceding the 
23d of February, had been unceasingly urging persons to 
join with him in the atrocious plot to assassinate his 
Majesty's Ministers. All of a sudden he became quite rich, 
and was buying arms in every quarter, at every price, and 
of every description ; still urging a variety of persons to 
unite with him. Now, it was very fitting for the inteifest? of 
the country, that the country should know who "^ J ' 



uals were who supplied him with the money." 
As a fair specimen of the disposition of 
dealing with his Ministry, I give the following extant from 




132 THE nOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

a memorandum of Lord Chancellor Eldon, dated April 26th, 
1820 : " Our royal master seems to have got into temper 
again, so far as I could judge from his conversation with 
me this morning. He has been pretty well disposed to 
part with us all, because we would not make additions to 
his revenue. This we thought conscientiously we could 
not do in the present state of the country, and of the dis- 
tresses of the middle and lower orders of the people to 
which we might add, too, that of the higher orders. My 
own individual opinion was such that I could not bring nay- 
self to oppress the country at present by additional taxa- 
tion for that purpose." 

On the 23d of March, Henry Hunt, John Knight, Joseph 
Johnson, Joseph Healey, and Samuel Bamford were, after 
six days' trial at York, found guilty of unlawfully assem- 
bling. Lord Grenville feared that, if acquitted, Peterloo 
might form a terrible bill of indictment against the Minis- 
try. His Lordship writes on March 29th, to the Marquis 
of Buckingham : " It would have been a dreadful thing if 
it had been established by the result of that trial that the 
Manchester meeting was under all its circumstances a 
legal assembly." His Lordship knew that the magistrates 
and yeomanry cavalry might have been indicted for murder 
had the meeting been declared legal. Sir C. Wolseley and 
the Rev. J. Harrison were at this time being prosecuted 
for seditious speaking, and were ultimately found guilty on 
April 10th. In May the state of the country was terrible ; 
even Baring, the Conservative banker, on May 7th, 
described the " state of England " to a full House of 
Commons, " in the most lamentable terms." On the 8th 
we find Mr. "W. H. Fremantle saying of the King, " His 
language is only about the Coronation and Lady Conyng- 
ham [his then favorite sultana] ; very little of the state of 
the country." Early in June, it being known that Queen 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 133 

Caroline was about to return to England, and that she 
intended to be present at the Coronation, the King offered 
her 50,000 a year for life to remain on the Continent, and 
forbear from claiming the title of Queen of England. This 
Caroline indignantly refused. The Queen's name had, by 
an order in Council, and on the King's direction, been 
omitted from the Liturgy as that of a person unfit to be 
prayed for, and on the 6th of July a bill of pains and penal- 
ties was introduced by Lord Liverpool, alleging adultery 
between the Queen and one Bartolomeo Bergami. To 
wade through the mass of disgusting evidence offered by 
the advisers of the King in support of the bill is terrible 
work. It seems clear that many of the witnesses com- 
mitted perjury. It is certain that the diplomatic force of 
England was used to prevent the Queen from obtaining 
witnesses on her behalf. Large sums of the taxpayers' 
money were shown to have been spent in surrounding the 
Princess of Wales with spies in Italy and Switzerland. 
Naturally the people took sides with the Queen. To use 
the language of William Cobbett : " The joy of the people, 
of all ranks, except nobility, clergy, and the army and 
the navy, who in fact were theirs, was boundless ; and they 
expressed it in every possible way that people can express 
their joy. They had heard rumors about a lewd life, and 
about an adulterous intercourse. They could not but 
believe that there was some foundation for something of 
this kind ; but they, in their justice, went back to the time 
when she was in fact turned out of her husband's house, 
with a child in her arms, without blame of any sort ever 
having been imputed to her. They compared what they 
had heard of the wife with what they had seen of the hus- 
band, and they came to their determination accordingly. 
As far as related to the question of guilt or innocence they 
cared not a straw ; they took a large view of the matter ; 



134 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSinCK. 

they went over her whole history ; they determined that 
she had been wronged, and they resolved to uphold her." 

On the 6th of August, the Duchess of York died. Dr. 
Doran thus writes her epitaph : " Her married life had 
been unhappy, and every day of it was a disgrace to her 
profligate, unprincipled, and good-tempered husband." 

In the month of September Lord Castlereagh was com- 
pelled to admit that the expenses incurred in obtaining 
evidence from abroad, against the Queen, had been 
defrayed out of the Secret Service money. The trial of 
Queen Caroline lasted from the 17th of August until the 
10th of November, when, in a house of two hundred and 
seven peers, the Queen was found guilty by a majority of 
nine votes. On this, Lord Liverpool said that " as the 
public sentiment had been expressed so decidedly against' 
the measure," he would withdraw the bill. Amongst 
those who voted against the Queen, the names appear of 
Frederick Duke of York and William Henry Duke of 
Clarence. They had been most active in attacking the 
Queen, and now were shameless enough to vote as her 
judges. While the trial was proceeding, the Duke 
of York's private conversation " was violent against the 
Queen." He ought surely, for very shame's sake, this 
Prince-Bishop, to have remembered the diamonds sent by 
the King his father to Princess Caroline Amelia Elizabeth, 
of Brunswick. Being the bearer of the jewels, his Royal 
Highness the Duke of York and Prince-Bishop of Osna- 
burg, stole them, and presented them to Mrs. Mary Anne 
Clarke. Mr. Denman, the Queen's Solicitor-General, was 
grandly audacious in his indictment of the King's brothers 
for their cowardly conduct. In the presence of the assem- 
bled Lords, he, without actually referring to him by 
name, denounced the Duke of Clarence as a calumniator. 
He called on the Duke to come forward openly, saj-ing, 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 135 

" Come forth, thou slanderer ! " And this slanderer was 
afterwards our King ! The Queen, in a protest against 
the bill, declared that " those who avowed themselves her 
prosecutors have presumed to sit in judgment upon the 
question between the Queen and themselves. Peers have 
given their voices against her, who had heard the whole 
evidence for the charge, and absented themselves during 
her defence. Others have come to the discussion from the 
Secret Committee with minds biased by a mass of slander, 
which her enemies have not dared to bring forward in the 
light." Lord Dacre, in presenting the protest to the 
assembled peers, added: "Her Majesty complained that 
the individuals who formed her prosecutors in this- odious 
measure, sat in judgment against her. My Lords, I need 
not express an opinion upon this complaint ; delicacy alone 
ought to have, in my opinion, prevented their becoming 
her accusers, and also her judges." 

George IV. was guilty of the vindictive folly of stripping 
Brougham of his King's Counsel gown, as a punishment 
for his brilliant defence of the Queen. 

While the trial of the Queen was going on, it might have 
been thought that the King would at any rate affect a de- 
cency of conduct. But these Brunswicks are shameless. 
Speaking of the cottage at Windsor, on August llth, Mr. 
Fremantle says : " The principal object is of course the 
Lady Conyngham, who is here. The King and her always 
together, separated from the rest, they ride every day or go 

on the water, and in the evening sitting alone 

The excess of his attentions and enjouement is beyond all 
belief." On December 1 7th, Mr. Fremantle finds the King 
ill and says : " The impression of my mind is that the com- 
plaint is in the head." Most of the Brunswicks have been 
affected in the head. Either George I. was insane, or 
George II. was not his son. George II. himself had cer- 



136 TiHE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK, 

tainly one or two delusions, if not more. George III.'s 
sanity is not affirmed by any one. It may be a question 
whether or not any allegation of hereditary affection is 
enough, however, to justify an appeal to Parliament for a 
rearrangement of the succession to the throne. 

On the 9th of January, 1821, King George IV. wrote a 
private letter to Lord Chancellor Eldon, in the " double 
capacity as a friend and as a minister," in order to influ- 
ence the proceedings then pending in the law courts 
" against vendors of treason and libellers." 

On the 8th of June, on the motion of Lord Londonderry, 
and after an ineffectual opposition by Mr. Hume, 6,000 a 
year additional was voted to the Duke of Clarence. The 
vote was made retrospective, and thus gave the Duke 
18,000 extra in cash. Besides this, we find a charge of 
9,166 for fitting up the Duke's apartments. 

On the 5th of July, Mr. Scarlett moved the court on be- 
half of Olivia "Wilmot Serres, claiming to be the legitimate 
daughter of the Duke of Cumberland, who was brother of 
George III. Mr. Scarlett submitted that he had documents 
proving the accuracy of the statement, but on a technical 
point the matter was not gone into. 

In August, 1821, King George IV. visited Ireland. 
Knowing his habits, and the customs of some other mem- 
bers of the family, it excites little surprise to read that, on 
the voyage to Dublin, " his Majesty partook most abun- 
dantly of goose pie and whiskey," and landed in Ireland 
" in the last stage of intoxication." And this was a king ! 
This journey to Ireland cost the country 58,261. In a 
speech publicly made by the King in Ireland, within a few 
hours after receiving the news of Queen Caroline's death, 
the monarch said : " This is one of the happiest days of 
my life." 

On the 7th of August Queen Caroline died. In Thel- 






THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 137 

wall's Champion there is a full account of the disgraceful 
conduct of the King's Government with reference to the 
funeral. On the morning of the 14th, after a disgusting 
contest between her executors and the King's Government 
for the possession of her remains, they were removed from 
Brandenburgh House towards Harwich, on their way to 
interment at Brunswick. The ministers, to gratify per- 
sonal feelings of unworthy rancor beyond the grave, gave 
orders that the funeral should take a circuit, to avoid man- 
ifestations of sympathy from the Corporation and the peo- 
ple along the direct route through London. At Kensington, 
the procession found every road but that of London barri- 
caded by the people, and was constrained to take the 
forbidden route, with the intention of passing through 
Hyde Park into the northern road. The Park gate was 
closed and barricaded, but was forced by the military. The 
upper gate was also barricaded. Here a conflict took place 
between the military and the people, and two persons were 
shot by the soldiers. The procession moved on, the con- 
flict was renewed, the people triumphed, and the corpse 
was borne through the city. Sir Robert Wilson remonstrated 
with some soldiers and an officer on duty ; but his humane 
interference caused his removal from the army. In return, 
a large sum was subscribed by the public to compensate 
Sir Robert Wilson for his loss. The directing civil magis- 
trate present, for having consulted his humanity in prefer- 
ence to his orders, and to prevent bloodshed yielded to the 
wishes of the multitude, was also deprived of his commis- 
sion. On the inquest on the body of one of the men shot, 
the coroner's jury, vindicating the rights of the people, re- 
turned a verdict of "Wilful murder" against the Life 
Guardsman who fired. 

While the King was in Ireland he paraded his connec- 
tion with the Marchioness of Conyngham in the most glar- 



138 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

ing manner. Fremantle says : " I never in iny life heard 
of anything to equal the King's infatuation and conduct 
towards Lady Conyngham. She lived exclusively with 
him during the whole time he was in Ireland, at the Phoenix 
Park. When he went to Slane, she received him dressed 
out as for a drawing-room. He saluted her, and they then 
retired alone to her apartments." 

If it be objected that I am making too great a feature 
of the Marchioness of Conyngham's connection with the 
King, I plead my justification in Henry W. Wynn's declar- 
ation of " her foil} 7 and rapacity," affirming that this folly 
and rapacity have left their clear traces on the conduct of 
affairs, and in the increase of the national burdens. Her 
husband, as a reward for her virtue, was made an English 
peer in 1821. Lord Mount Charles, his eldest son, was 
made Master of the Robes, Groom of his Majesty's Bed- 
chamber, and ultimately became a member of the Govern- 
ment. On this, Bulwer said : " He may prove himself an 
admirable statesman, but there is no reason to suppose it." 

In order that the student of history may fairly judge the 
account of the rapturous reception given to the King in 
Ireland, it is needful to add that political discontent was 
manifest on all sides. Poverty and misery prevailed in 
Limerick, Mayo, Cavan, and Tipperary, which counties 
were proclaimed, and occupied by a large military force. 
Executions, imprisonments, and tumults filled the pages of 
the daily journals. 

In the autumn of 1821, King George IV. visited Han- 
over, and if the Duke of Buckingham's correspondence be 
reliable, " Lord Liverpool put a final stop to the visit by 
declaring that no more drafts could be honored, except for 
the direct return home." 

On the 12th of August, 1822, Castlereagh, the most noble 
the Marquis of Londonderry, sent himself to heaven, from 






THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 139 

North Cray Farm, Bexley, at the age of fifty-three. He 
was buried in Westminster Abbey. Meaner clay would 
have been got rid of at some cross roads. 

" The death," says Wallace, " of a public man in Eng- 
land especially a death so sudden and lamentable 
greatly assuages the political resentments against him in 
his life ; and there was a reaction in aristocratic circles in 
favor of Lord Londonderry when he ceased to live. His 
servile complaisance to despots abroad, his predilection for 
the worst engines of government at home, were for a 
moment forgotten. But the honest hatred of the populace, 
deep-rooted, sincere, and savage, remained untouched, and 
spoke in a fearful yell of triumphant execration over his 
remains whilst his coffin was descending into the grave in 
Westminster Abbey." 

No language could do fitting justice to Robert Stewart, 
Marquis of Londonderry. Words would be too weak to 
describe Castlereagh's cruelty and baseness towards his 
own countrymen, or his infernal conduct in connection with 
the Government of England. All that can be fittingly 
said is, that he was pre-eminently suited to be Minister of 
State under a Brunswick. 

In 1823 the thanks of Parliament were presented to 
George IV. for " having munificently presented to the 
nation a library formed by George III." Unfortunately, 
the thanks were undeserved. George IV. was discreditable 
enough to accept thanks for a donation he had never made. 
The truth is, says the Daily News, " that the King being, 
as was his wont, in urgent need of money, entertained a 
proposal to sell his father's library to the Emperor of Rus- 
sia for a good round sum. The books were actually packed 
up, and the cases directed in due form, when representa- 
tions were made to Lord Sidmouth, then Home Secretary, 
on the subject. The minister resolved, if possible, to hinder 



140 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

the iniquity from being perpetrated. Accordingly, he rep- 
resented his view of the matter to the King. George IV. 
graciously consented, after a good deal of solicitation, to 
present the library to the nation, conditionally on his re- 
ceiving in return the same sum as he would have received 
had the sale of it to the Emperor of Eussia been completed. 
What the nation did was, firstly, to pay the money; 
secondly, to erect a room for the library at the cost of 
140,000 ; and thirdly, to return fulsome thanks to the 
sovereign for his unparalleled munificence." 

On the 25th of April, 1825, the Duke of York spoke in 
the House of Lords against Catholic Emancipation. His 
speech was made, if not by the direction, most certainly 
with the consent, of the King. George IV.'s reluctance to 
Catholic Emancipation was deep-rooted and violent. The 
bare mention of the subject exasperated him. He was 
known to say, and only in his milder mood, " I wish those 
Catholics were damned or emancipated." The angered 
despotism of this alternative still afforded the hope that his 
intolerance might be overcome by his selfish love of ease. 
The Duke of York's address to his brother peers closed 
with the declaration that he would, to the last moment of 
his life, whatever his situation, resist the emancipation of 
the Catholics, " so help him God ! " All tyrants think 
themselves immortal; the Catholics and their cause out- 
lived the Duke of York, and triumphed. His speech, how- 
ever, coming from the presumptive heir to the Crown, had 
a great share in deciding the majority of the Lords against 
the measure ; and acted with great effect upon the con- 
genial mass of brute ignorance and bigotry which is found 
ready to deny civil rights to all outside the pale of their own 
church. 

On the 5th of January, 1827, the Duke of York died. Wal- 
lace, in his " Life of George IV.," says : " Standing in the 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 141 

relation of heir-presumptive to the throne ; obstinately and 
obtusely fortified against all concession to the Catholics ; 
serving as a ready and authorative medium of Toryism and 
intolerance to reach, unobserved, the royal ear his death 
had a great influence upon the state of parties, and was 
especially favorable to the ascendancy of Mr. Canning. 
He, some weeks only before he died, and when his illness 
had commenced, strenuously urged the King to render the 
Government uniform and anti-Catholic ; in other words, 
to dismiss Mr. Canning ; and, had he recovered, Mr. Canning 
must have ceased to be Foreign Minister, or the Duke to be 
Commander-in-chief. The Duke of York was not without 
personal good qualities, which scarcely deserved the name of 
private virtues, and were overclouded by his private vices. 
He was constant in his friendships : but who were his Mends 
and associates ? Were they persons distinguished in the State, 
in literature, in science, in arts, or even in his own profession 
of arms ? Were they not the companions and sharers of his 
dissipations and prodigalities ? He did not exact from his 
associates subserviency of form ; but it was notorious that, 
from the meanness of his capacity, or the vulgarity of his 
tastes, he descended very low before he found himself at his 
own social level. His services to the army as Commander- 
in-chief wefe beyond all measure overrated. Easy access, 
diligence, a mechanical regularity of system, which seldom 
yielded to solicitation, and never discerned merit ; an un- 
envying, perhaps unscrupulous, willingness to act upon the 
advice and appropriate the measures of others more able 
and informed than himself, these were his chief merits at 
the Horse Guards. But, it will be said, he had un uncom- 
promising, conscientious fidelity to his public principles ; 
this amounts to no more than that his bigotry was honest 
and unenlightened. His death, perhaps, was opportune; 
his non-accession fortunate for the peace of the country 



142 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

and the stability of his family on the Throne. Alike inca- 
pable of fear and foresight, he would have risked the integ- 
rity of the United Kingdom rather than concede the Cath- 
olic claims ; and the whole Monarchy rather than sanction 
Reform. It would be easy to suggest a parallel, and not 
always to his advantage, between the constitution of his 
mind and that of James, Duke of York, afterwards James 
II., whose obstinate bigotry forced the nation to choose 
between their liberties and his deposition from the Throne." 

In 1827, the Duke of Clarence obtained, after much oppo- 
sition, a further vote of 8,000 a year to himself, besides 
6,000 a year to the Duchess. The Duke of Clarence also 
had 3,000 a year further, consequent on the death of the 
Duke of York, making his allowance 43,000 a year. 

In April, 1829, the infamous Duke of Cumberland had 
stated, that if the King gave his assent to the Catholic 
Emancipation Bill, he (the Duke) would quit England 
never to return to it. The Right Honorable Thomas Gren- 
ville says, in a letter dated April 9th : " There is some 
fear that a declaration to that effect may produce a very 
general cheer even in the dignified assembly of the House 
of Lords." How loved these Brunswicks have been even 
by their fellow-peers ! 

On the 10th of April, the Roman Catholic Emancipation 
Bill passed the House of Lords, the Duke of Wellington 
confessing that civil war was imminent, if the relief afforded 
by the measure was longer delayed. 

On June 26th, 1830, the royal physicians issued a bulletin, 
stating that " it has pleased Almighty God to take from 
this world the King's most excellent majesty." Most 
excellent majesty ! ! A son who threatened his mother to 
make public the invalidity of her marriage ; a lover utterly 
regardless of the well-being of any of his mistresses ; a 
bigamous husband, who behaved most basely to his first 



: 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 143 

wife, and acted the part of a dishonorable scoundrel to the 
second ; a brother at utter enmity with the Duke of Kent ; 
a son who sought to aggravate the madness of his royal 
father ; a cheat in gaming and racing. He dies because 
lust and luxury have, through his lazy life, done their work 
on his bloated carcass, and England sorrows for the King's 
" most excellent majesty ! " 

George IV. was a great King. Mrs. J. R. Greer, in her 
work on " Quakerism," says that he once went to a woman's 
meeting in Quaker dress. " His dress was all right ; a 
gray silk gown, a brown cloth shawl, a little white silk 
handkerchief with hemmed edge round his neck, and a very 
well-poked Friend's bonnet, with the neatly-crimped border 
of his clear muslin cap tied under the chin, completed his 
disguise." Eoyal George was detected, but we are told 
that the Quakers, who recognized their visitor, were careful 
to treat him with courtesy and deference ! 

In the ten years' reign, the official expenditure for George 
IV. and his Royal Family was at the very least 16,000,000 
sterling. Windsor Castle cost 894,500, the Pavilion at 
Brighton is said to have cost a million, and another half- 
million is alleged to have been expended on the famous 
" Cottage." After the King's death his old clothes realized 
15,000. 

Thackeray says of him that he " never resisted any 
temptation ; never had a desire but he coddled it and pam- 
pered it ; if he ever had any nerve, he frittered it away 
among cooks, and tailors, and barbers,, and furniture-mon- 
gers, and opera-dancers. ... all fiddling, and flowers, 
and feasting, and flattery, and folly. ... a monstrous 
image of pride, vanity, and weakness." 

Wallace says : " Monarchy, doubtless, has its advan- 
tages ; but it is a matter of serious reflection that under a 
government called free, among a people called civilized, 



144 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWCK. 

the claims of millions, and the contingent horrors of a civil 
war, should be thus dependent upon the distempered 
humors and paramount will of a single unit of the species." 



CHAPTER Vi. 

THE REIGN OF WILLIAM IV. 

WILLIAM HENRY, Duke of Clarence, Admiral of the Fleet, 
and third son of George III., born August 21st, 1765, 
succeeded his brother George IV. as King of England, on 
the 26th of June, 1830. The new King was then 65 years of 
age, and had been married, July llth, 1818, to Adelaide 
Amelia Louisa Teresa Caroline, Princess of Saxe- 
Meiningen. Mrs. Dorothy Jordan, with whom William 
had lived, and who had borne him ten children, had fled to 
France to avoid her creditors, and had there died, 
neglected by the world, deserted by William, and in 
the greatest poverty. This Mrs. Jordan was sold to Wil- 
liam by one Richard Ford, her former lover, who, amongst 
other rewards of virtue, was created a Knight, and made 
Police Magistrate at Bow Street. Mrs. Jordan's children 
bore the name of " Fitzclarence," and great dissatisfaction 
was expressed against the King, who, too mean to main- 
tain them out of his large income, contrived to find them 
all posts at the public cost. At the date of William IV.'s 
accession, the imperial taxation was about 47,000,000 ; 
to-day it has increased at least 25,000,000. 

The annual allowances to the junior branches of the 
Royal Family in 1830, formerly included in the Civil List, 
and now paid separately, were as follows : 

The Duke of Cumberland 21,000. He had no increase 
on his marriage ; the House of Commons rejected a motion 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK* 145 

to that effect ; but an allowance of 6,000 a year for his 
son, Prince George, had been issued to him since he became 
a resident in this country. This is the Duke of Cumber- 
land, who so loved his brother, William IV., that he 
intrigued with the Orangemen to force William's abdication, 
and to get made King in his stead. 

The Duke of Sussex received 21,000. 

The Duke of Cambridge, father of the present Duke, had 
27,000. He obtained an increase on his marriage of 
6,000 a year. This Prince was charged with the govern- 
ment of the family territoiy, the kingdom of Hanover, and 
consequently resided but little in England. 

Princess Augusta, 13,000. 

The Princess Elizabeth of Hesse Homburg, 13,000. 

Princess Sophia, 13,000. 

The Duchess of Kent, including the allowance granted in 
1831, for her daughter, the Princess Victoria, heir-presump- 
tive to the Throne, 22,000. 

The Duke of Gloucester, including 13,000 which he re- 
ceived as the husband of the Princess Mary, 27,000. 

The Princess Sophia of Gloucester, his sister, 7,000. 

Queen Adelaide had 100,000 a year, and the residence 
at Bushey granted to her for life. 

Mrs. Fitzherbert, as the widow of George IV., was in 
receipt of 6,000 a year, and the ten Fitzclarences also 
enjoyed places and pensions. 

The Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel were the 
King's Ministers ; and, although there was some personal 
hostility between William and the Iron Duke, they were at 
first his willing coadjutors in opposing either reduction of 
expenditure, or any kind of political or social reform. 
The quarrel between William as Duke of Clarence and the 
Duke of Wellington had arisen when William was Lord 
High Admiral. William had given improper orders to a 



146 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

military officer, named Cockburn, which the latter had 
refused to obey. The Duke of Wellington refused to 
sacrifice Cockburn, and ultimately the Duke of Clarence 
resigned his office as Lord High Admiral, for which, says 
the Rev. Mr. Molesworth, " he was ill-qualified, and in 
which he was doing great mischief." 

In November, 1830, Earl Grey, Lord Brougham, Lord 
Melbourne, and Lord Altliorp came into office as leaders of 
the Whig party. With slight exception, in 1806, the Whigs 
had not been before in office during the present centuiy, 
and very little indeed since 1762. The Whigs encouraged 
the Radical Reformers so far as to insure their own acces- 
sion to power ; but it is evident that the Whig Cabinet only 
considered how little they could grant, and yet retain office. 
In finance, as well as reform, they were disloyal to the 
mass of the people who pushed them into power. 

The Duke of Wellington and his Ministry resigned office 
in November, 1830, because the House of Commons wished 
to appoint a Select Committee to examine the Civil List. 
King William IV., according to the words of a letter 
written by him to Earl Grey, on December 1st, 1830, felt 
considerable " alarm and uneasiness " because Joseph 
Hume and other Radical members wished to put some 
check on the growing and already extravagant royal 
expenditure. He objects " most strenuously," and says, 
referring in this especially to the Duchy of Lancas- 
ter: "Earl Grey cannot be surprised that the King 
should view with jealousy any idea of Parliamentary inter- 
ference with the only remaining pittance of an independent 
possession, which has been enjoyed by his ancestors, dur- 
ing many centuries, as their private and independent estate, 
and has now, as such, lawfully devolved upon him in right 
of succession. That he should feel that any successful at- 
tempt lo deprive the Sovereign of this independent posses- 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWCK. 147 

sion will be to lower and degrade Mm into the state and 
condition of absolute and entire dependence, as a pensioner 
of the House of Commons ; to place him in the condition 
of an individual violating or surrendering a trust which 
had been held sacred by his ancestors, and which he is 
bound to transmit to his successors. The King cannot 
indeed conceive upon what plea such a national invasion of 
the private rights, and such a seizure of the private estates, 
of the Sovereign could be justified." 

William IV. reminds Earl Grey, that the Chancellor of 
the Duchy is sworn to do all things "for the weal and profit 
of the King's Highness. And his Majesty has fair reason 
to expect that a pledge so solemnly taken will be fulfilled, 
and that he will be supported in his assertion of these 
private rights, not only of himself, but of his heirs and 
successors, as they have devolved upon him, separate from 
all other of his possessions jure coronas, and consequently, 
as his separate personal and private estate, vested in his 
Majesty, by descent from Henry VII. in his body natural, 
and not in his body politic as King." 

Earl Grey naturally promised to prevent Radical finan- 
cial reformers from becoming too annoying to Royalty. 
The Whigs love to talk of economy out of office, and to 
avoid it when in place. 

Daniel O'Connell appears to have much troubled the 
King. Directly after the Dublin meeting in December, 
1830, Sir Henry Taylor says : " The King observed, that he 
would have been better pleased if this assembly of people 
had not dispersed quietly at his bidding, as the control 
which he has successfully exercised upon various occasions 
in this way, appears to his Majesty the most striking proof 
of the influence he has acquired over a portion of the lower 
classes in Ireland." 

It is pretended in the Cabinet Register for 1831, and was 



148 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

stated by Lord Althorp in Parliament, that his Majesty 
most nobly and patriotically declined to add to the burdens 
of his people by accepting an outfit for his royal consort, 
though 54,000 had been granted by Parliament to the 
Queen of George III., as an outfit to purchase jewels, etc." 
This is so little true, that it appears from the correspon- 
dence between the King and Earl Grey, that a grant for 
the Queen's outfit had been agreed to by the outgoing 
Tories, and would have been proposed by the new Whig 
Government, had not one of the Cabinet (probably Lord 
Brougham) decidedly objected, on the ground " that pro- 
posing a grant for this purpose would have a bad effect oa 
the House of Commons, and on public opinion ; " and by a 
letter dated February 4th, 1831, from the King, it is clear 
that he only abandoned the claim when he found he could 
not get it. There is not a word about " the burdens of the 
people," although many at that time were in a starving 
condition. On the contrary, the secretary of the King sa3 T s 
on the 6th of February, that " the disinclination shown in 
the House of Commons " to grant the outfit had " produced 
a very painful impression on his Majesty." 

The King, afraid of the spread of Reform opinions, says 
that he " trusts that the Lord-Lieutenants and Deputy- 
Lieutenants of counties will be cautioned to scrutinize the 
ballots for the militia as far as possible, so as to endeavor 
to exclude from its ranks men of dangerous and designing 
character, whose influence might prove very pernicious upon 
newly-established corps, and before they shall have acquired 
habits of discipline and subordination." And to show his 
desire for Reform, he urges the Ministers to check the pub- 
lic gatherings, saying, " I am ignorant to what extent it 
may be in contemplation to increase the military means, 
either by calling out the militia partially, or by any addition 
to the regular force ; but I am convinced that the latter 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 149 

would be not onl}* the most efficient, but the cheapest ; and 
it would have the advantage of being applicable to all 
purposes." 

The Reformer King for this pretence has been made 
in another letter says : " His Majesty is satisfied that he 
may rely upon Earl Grey's strenuous support in his deter- 
mination to resist all attempts which may be made to sap 
the established rights of the Crown, and to destroy those 
institutions under which this country has so long prospered, 
while others have been suffering so severely from the effects 
of revolutionary projects, and from the admission of what 
are called Radical remedies . . . He is induced thus 
pointedly to notice the proposal of introducing Election by 
Ballot, in order to declare that nothing should ever induce 
him to yield to it, or to sanction a practice which would, 
in his opinion, be a protection to concealment, would abolish 
the influence of fear and shame, and would be inconsistent 
with the manly spirit and the free avowal of opinion which 
distinguish the people of England. His Majesty need 
scarcely add that his opposition to the introduction of 
another, yet more objectionable, proposal, the adoption of 
Universal Suffrage, one of the wild projects which have 
sprung from revolutionary speculation, would have been 
still more decided." 

How William IV. could ever have been suspected of being 
favorable to Reform is difficult to comprehend. As Duke of 
Clarence he had spoken in favor of the Slave Trade, and 
had declared that " its abolition should meet with his most 
serious and most unqualified opposition." When the Reform 
Bill actually became law, although William IV. did not dare 
to veto it, he refused to give the royal assent in person. 

In this chapter there is not space enough to go through 
the history of the Reform agitation of 1832. In Moles- 
worth's " History of the Reform Bill," and Roebuck's ac- 



150 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

count of the "Whig Ministry," the reader will find the 
story fully told. It is not enough to say here that the King 
not only hindered Reform until Revolution was imminent, 
and the flames of burning castles and mansions were rising 
in different parts of England, but it may be stated that he 
condescended to deceive his Ministers ; that he allowed his 
children to canvass peers against the bill, and would have 
resorted to force to crush the Birmingham Political Union, 
if he could have thrown the responsibility of this tyranny 
upon the Cabinet. In the King's eyes the people were " the 
rabble." We find him " impatient " for the return of the 
Tories to power, and bitterly discontented when the orderly 
character of popular demonstrations rendered the employ- 
ment of the military impossible. 

The Earl of Munster, one of the King's ten children by 
Mrs. Jordan, and who was Governor of Windsor Castle, 
Colonel in the Army, Aide-de-Camp to the King, Lieutenant 
of the Tower, Tory and State prisoner, being charged with 
having " unhandsomely intrigued against Earl Grey's Gov- 
ernment," made the curious defence " that for six months 
before and for twenty-four hours after the resignation " of 
the Grey Government, " it was from certain circumstances 
out of his power to act in the matter imputed to him." 

It is worthy of notice, as against Mr. Frederic Harrison's 
opinion, that no English monarch could now really interfere 
with the course of government in Great Britain, that in 
April, 1832, William IV. gave written directions to Earl 
Grey, " that no instructions should be sent" to foreign am- 
bassadors until they had " obtained his previous concur- 
rence." And it is clear, from a letter of the King's private 
secretary, that William gave these orders because he was 
afraid there was a " disposition ... to unite with France 
in support of the introduction of liberal opinions and meas- 
ures agreeably to the spirit of the times." Although the 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 151 

newspapers praised William, he does not seem to have been 
very grateful in private. In 1832, he declared to his con- 
fidential secretary that he had " long ceased to consider the 
press (the newspaper family) in any other light than as the 
vehicle of all that is false and infamous." 

In January, 1833 / in a speech, not written for him, but 
made extemporaneously after dinner, William IV. said, to 
compliment the American Ambassador, u that it had always 
been a matter of serious regret to him that he had not been 
born a free, independent American." We regret that the 
whole family have not long since naturalized themselves as 
American citizens. But such a sentiment from the son of 
George III., from one who in his youth had used the most 
extravagant phraseology in denunciation of the American 
rebels ! ! 

The family insanitj-, shown in the case of George 
II. by his persistence in wearing his Dettingen old clothes ; 
more notorious and less possible of concealment in that of 
George III. ; well known to all but the people as to George 
IV., who actually tried to persuade the Duke of Wellington 
that he (George) had led a regiment at Waterloo, 
was also marked in William IV. In April, 1832, 
the King's own secretary admits "distressing symp- 
toms " and " nervous excitement," but says that the attack 
"is now subsiding." Raikes, a Tory, and also a king- 
worshipper, in his " Diarj'," under date May the 27th, 
1834, sa}'s, after speaking of the King's " excitement " and 
"rather extraordinary" conduct, that "at the levee a 
considerable sensation was created the other day by his 
insisting that an unfortunate wooden-legged lieutenant 
should kneel down." On June llth, visiting the Royal 
Academy, the President showed the King, amongst others, 
the portrait of Admiral Napier, and was astonished to hear 
his Majesty at once cry out : " Captain Napier may be 



152 THE HOUSE OF BRUNS1VICK. 

damned, sir, and you may be damned, sir; and if the 
Queen was not here, sir, I would kick you downstairs, 
sir." The King's brother, his Royal Highness the Duke of 
Gloucester, died November 20th, 1834. Raikes says of 
him : " He was not a man of talent, as may be inferred 
from his nickname of Silly Billy." This is the Roj T al 
Family, the head of which, according to Mr. Disraeli, was 
" physically and mentally incapable of performing the 
regal functions," and which yet, according to the brilliant 
statesman, so fitly represents the intelligence and honor of 
Great Britain ! 

In 1836, Sir William Knighton died. He had been 
made private secretary to the late King, and had made his 
fortune by means of some papers which Colonel Macmahon, 
confidant of George IV., had when dying, and which came 
into Knighton's hands as medical attendant of the dying 
man. Sir W. Knighton was made a " Grand Cross," not 
for his bravery in war, or intelligence in the State, but for 
his adroit manipulation of secrets relating to Lad} 7 Jersey, 
Mrs. Fitzherbert, and the Marchioness of Conyngham. 
Sir William Knighton and the latter lady were supposed to 
have made free with 300,000 ; but great larcenies win 
honor, and Sir W. Knighton died respected. 

In August, 1836, William hearing that the Duke of 
Bedford had helped O'Connell with money ordered the 
Duke's bust, then in the Gallery at Windsor, to be taken 
down, and thrown in the lime-kilns. 

On June 20th, 1837, William IV. died. Ernest, Duke 
of Cumberland, by William's death, became King of Han- 
over, and was on the same day publicly hissed in the Green 
Park. Naturally, in this loving family there was consid- 
erable disagreement for some time previous to the King's 
death between his Majesty and the Duchess of Kent. 

The Edinburgh Review, soon after the King's death, 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 153 

while admitting that " his understanding may not have 
been of as high an order as his good nature," says : " "We 
have learned to forget the faults of the Duke of Clarence in 
the merits of William IV." Where were these merits 
shown? Was it in "brooding" (to use the expression 
of his own private secretaiy) over questions of whether 
he could, during the commencement of his reign, personally 
appropriate sums of money outside the Civil List votes? 
Was it in desiring that Colonel Napier might be " struck 
off the half-pay list," for having made a speech at Devizes 
in favor of Parliamentary Reform ? Was it when he tried 
to persuade Earl Grey to make Parliament pay Rundell 
and Bridge's bill for plate and this when the masses 
were in a starving condition? Was it when he declared 
that he was by "no means dissatisfied" that a proposed 
meeting was likely to be so " violent, and in other respects 
so objectionable," as it would afford the excuse for sup- 
pressing by force the orderly meetings which, says his 
secretary, " the King orders me to say he cannot too often 
describe as being, in his opinion, far more mischievous and 
dangerous " than those of " a more avowed and violent 
character " ? 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE PRESENT It E I G N . 

HER present Majesty, Alexandrina Victoria, was born 
May 24th, 1819, and ascended the throne June 20th, 1837, 
as representing her father, the Duke of Kent, fourth son of 
George III. On February 10th, 1840, it being the general 
etiquette for the Brunswick family to intermarry amongst 
themselves, she was married to her cousin, Prince Albert 



154 HOUSE OF 

of Saxe Coburg, who received an allowance from the nation 
of 30,000, to compensate him for becoming the husband 
of his wife. The Queen, more sensible than others of the 
arduous position of a Prince Consort, wished her loyal 
husband to have 100,000 a year. The Government re- 
duced this to 50,000 ; Joseph Hume and the 'Radicals 
reduced it still further to 30,000. For this annual pa} r - 
mcnt the Prince undertook to submit to naturalization, to 
be the first subject in England, to reside rent free in the 
Royal Palaces repaired at the cost of the nation. He also, 
on his own account, and for his own profit, attended to 
various building speculations at the West End of London, 
and died very rich. He is known as Prince Albert the 
Good. His goodness is marked not by parks given to 
the people, as in the case of Sir Francis Crossley ; not by 
improved dwellings for the people, as in the case of George 
Peabody ; not by a large and costly market place, freely 
given, as in the case of Miss Burdett Coutts Peeress 
without her patent of Baroness ; but by statues erected 
in his honor in many cities and boroughs by a loyal 
people. As an employer of labor, the Prince's reputation 
for generosity is marked solely by these statues. As a 
Prince, he felt in his lifetime how much and how truly he 
was loved by his people ; and at a dinner given to the 
Guards, Prince Albert, in a speech probably not revised 
beforehand, told the household troops how he relied on 
them to protect the throne against any assaults. The 
memory of the Prince is dear to the people ; he has left us 
nine children to keep out of the taxpayers' pockets, his 
own large private accumulations of wealth being inappli- 
cable to their maintenance. 

When her Majesty ascended the throne, poor rates aver- 
aged 5s. 4d. per head per annum ; to-day they exceed 7s. 
During the last fifteen years alone there has been an in- 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 155 

crease of more than 250,000 paupers in England and 
Wales, and one person out of every twenty-two is in receipt 
of workhouse relief. Everybody, however, agrees that the 
country is prosperous and happy. In Scotland there has 
been an increase of 9,048 paupers in the last ten years. 
Two out of every fifty-three Scotclrnen are at this moment 
paupers. In Ireland in the last ten years the out-door pau- 
pers have increased 19,504. As, however, we have, during 
the reign of her present most gracious Majesty, driven 
away the bulk of the Irish population, there are consider- 
ably fewer paupers in Ireland than there are in Scotland. 
The average Imperial taxation during the first ten years of 
her Majesty's reign was under 50,000,000 a year. The 
average taxation at the present day is over 72,000,000 ayear. 
Pauperism and local and Imperial taxation are all on the 
increase, and, despite agricultural laborers' outcries and 
workmen's strikes, it is agreed that her Majesty's reign has 
brought us many blessings. 

On March 20th, 1842, the Earl of Munster, eldest son of 
William IV., and who had been made Constable of Wind- 
sor Castle by her Majesty, committed suicide. Although 
the eldest son of the late King, his position as a natural 
child excluded him from heaven, according to the Bible, 
and from all right to the Throne, according to our law. 

Her Majesty's eldest daughter, the Princess Royal, Vic- 
toria Adelaide Mary Louisa, is married to the Prince Impe- 
rial, Frederick William, of Germany, and, as it would have 
been manifestly unreasonable to expect either the Queen 
or the Prince Consort, out of their large private fortunes, 
to provide a dowry for their daughter, the English nation 
pays 8,000 a year to the Princess-. 

Her Majesty's eldest son, Albert Edward, Prince of 
Wales, Duke of Saxony, Cornwall, and Rothesay, and 
Earl of Dublin, has earned already so wide a fame that 



156 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

notice here is almost needless. As a writer, Ms letters 
a few of which have been published by the kind permission 
of Sir Charles Mordaunt illustrate the grasp of mind 
peculiar to the family, and mark in strong relief the nobility 
of character of the Ro} 7 al author. As a military chieftain, 
the Autumn Manoeuvres of 1871 demonstrated the tact and 
speed he could display in a strategic movement of masterly 
retreat. As an investigator of social problems, he has sur- 
passed the Lords Townshend and Shaftesbury, and at 
Mabille and in London has, by experience, entitled himself 
to speak with authority. As a pigeon-shooter, he can only 
be judged by comparison with the respectable ex-bush- 
ranger now claiming the Tichborne estates. Here, it is 
true, the latter is a man of more weight. The Prince of 
Wales receives 40,000 a year, and we give his wife 10,000 
a year as a slight acknowledgment for the position she has 
to occupy as Princess of Wales. With the history of the 
wives of the two last Princes of Wales to guide them, 
it is almost wonderful that the advisers of the Princess did 
not insist on a much higher premium against the risks of the 
position. When his Royal Highness came of age. he found 
accumulations of the Duchy of Cornwall approaching a 
million sterling, which, invested in Consols, would bring 
him in at least a further 40,000 per annum. His Royal 
Highness also has the income of the Duchy of Cornwall, 
amounting net to about 75,000 a year. In addition to this, 
the Prince of Wales is entitled to military salary as Colonel 
of the Rifle Brigade and 10th Hussars. Last year con- 
scious that it is unfair to expect a Prince to live upon 
153,000 a year 7,600 were voted by Parliament for the 
repair of the house in which he sometimes resides when in 
London. 

A few years ago his Royal Highness was in Paris, and 
certain scurrilous foreign prints pretended that on the 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 157 

Boulevard des Italiens, in the face of France, lie had for- 
gotten that one day he would seek to be King of England. 
It is written, " In vino veritas" and if the proverb hold, the 
Prince is more than half his time a man remarkable for his 
truthfulness. Some time later, the Royal Leamington 
Clironicle^ which, in his mere}', the Prince of Wales never 
prosecuted, coupled his reputation with infamy. Later, his 
Eoyal Highness was ill, and the nation wept. Then came 
recovery and Thanksgiving at St. Paul's. 

" So when the devil was sick, 

The devil a saint would be ; 

When the devil got well again, 

The devil a saint was he." 

The Prince of Wales has since been to Paris, and, ac- 
cording to La Liberte, has honored Mabille with his Royal 
presence. 

Her Majesty's second son is Alfred Ernest, Duke of Edin- 
burgh. His Royal Highness, when serving on board the 
Galatea, had leave to go on shore at Marseilles. Journey- 
ing to Paris, he overstayed his leave, refused to return 
when summoned, and stayed there, so Paris journals said, 
till his debts were thousands. Any other officer in the 
navy would have been cashiered ; his Royal Highness has 
since been promoted. The Duke of Edinburgh visited our 
Colonies, and the nation voted about 3,500 for presents 
made by the Prince. The presents the Prince received 
were, of course, his own, and the vote enabled the Duke to 
do justice to the generous sentiments of his family. The 
Colonists pretended at the time that some of the presents 
were not paid for by the Duke of Edinburgh ; naj r , they went 
so far as to allege that some of the Duke's debts had to be 
discharged by the Colonist Reception Committee. Repre- 
senting the honor of England, his Roj^al Highness earned 
himself a fame and a name by the associates he chose. In 



158 THE HOUSE OF BRUNSinCK. 

visiting India, a special sum of, we believe, 10,000 was 
taken from the Indian revenues and handed to the Duke, 
so that an English Prince might be liberal in his gifts to 
Indians at their own cost. The Duke of Edinburgh has 
25,000 a year. Five years ago he borrowed 450 from 
the pa3 r -chest of the Galatea. I have no means of knowing 
whether it has since been paid back ; all I can affirm is, 
that the country made up the deficient sum in the pay -chest 
without a word from any M. P. Had the borrower been a 
pay-sergeant, he would have been sent to a District 
Military Prison ; if a commissioned officer, other than a 
Royal one, he would have been dismissed the service. The 
difference between the Prince of Wales and the Duke of 
Edinburgh is this : in the first case, the virtues of the Prince 
equal his intelligence ; in the second case, the intelligence 
of the Duke is more developed than are his virtues. 

In the case of Broadwood vs. the Duke of St. Albans, 
both the Ro} T al brothers were permitted to guard a pleasant 
incognito. The Judge who allowed this concealment was 
soon afterwards created a Peer of the Realm. 

Our army and navy, without reckoning the Indian 
Establishment, cost more to-day, by about 9,000,000 a 
year, than when her Majesty ascended the throne. Her 
Majesty's cousin, George William Frederick, Duke of 
Cambridge, is Commander-in-Chief of the Army, and for 
this service receives 4,432 per annum. His Royal 
Highness also receives the sum of 12,000 in consequence 
of his being a cousin of the Queen. His Royal Highness is 
also Field-Marshal, and Colonel of four distinct regiments, 
for which he gets more than 5,000 annuall}'. Naturally, in 
the Duke is found embodied the whole military talent of 
the Royal Family. His great-uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, 
carved " Klosterseven " on the Brunswick monuments. 
Frederick Duke of York, the uncle of the Duke of Cam- 



THE HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 159 

bridge, recalled from the field of battle, that he might wear 
in peace at home the laurels he had won abroad, added 
" Clarke " and " Tonyn " as names to vie with Cressy or 
Waterloo. The present Duke of Cambridge was, when 
Prince George, stationed in Yorkshire, in the famous " plug 
plot " times, and his valiancy then threatened most lustily 
what he would do against the factory " turnouts," poor 
starved wretches clamoring for bread. In the army, the 
normal schoolmasters can tell how this brave Brunswicker 
rendered education difficult, and drove out, one by one, 
many of the best teachers. Soldiers who think too much, 
make bad machines. It was the father of the present Duke 
of Cambridge who publicly expressed his disbelief, in 1844 
5, of the failure of the potato crop in Ireland, " because 
he had always found the potatoes at his own table very 
good ! " 

For many years her Majesty's most constant attendant 
has been a Scotsman, John Brown. This person so seldom 
leaves her Majesty that it is said that some years since the 
Queen insisted on his presence when diplomatic communi- 
cations were made to her Majesty ; and that, when escorting 
the Queen to Camden House, on a visit to the ex-Emperor 
Napoleon, Mr. Brown offered her his arm from the carriage 
to the door. Afterwards, when an idiotic small boy 
armed with a broken pistol, loaded with red flannel, and 
without gunpowder made a sham attack on her Majesty, 
Mr. Brown courageously rushed to the Queen's aid, and has 
since received a medal to mark his valor. 

For many years her Majesty has taken but little part in 
the show ceremonials of State. Parliament is usually opened 
and closed by commission a robe on an empty throne, 
and a speech read by deputy, satisfying the Sovereign's 
loyal subjects. It is, however, the fact that in real State 
policy her interference has been most mischievous, and this 



160 THK HOUSE OF BRUNSWICK. 

especially where it affected her Prusso-German relatives.' 
In the case of Denmark attacked by Prussia and Austria, 
and in the case of the Franco-Prussian War, English Court 
influences have most indecently affected our foreign rela- 
tions. 

Her Majesty is now enormously rich, and as she is like 
her Royal grandmother grows richer daily. She is also 
generous, Parliament annually voting her moneys to enable 
her to be so without touching her own purse. 

It is charged against me that I have unfairly touched 
private character. In no instance have I done so, except 
.as I have found the conduct of the individuals attacked 
affecting the honor and welfare of the nation. My sayings 
and writings are denounced in many of the journals, and in 
the House of Lords, as seditious, and even treasonable. 
My answer is, that, fortunately, Hardy, Tooke, and Thel- 
wall heard " Not Guilty " given as the shield -against a 
criticism which dared to experiment on persecution. In 
case of need, I rely on a like deliverance. I do not pretend 
hereto have pleaded for Republicanism ; I have only pleaded 
against the White Horse of Hanover. I admire the 
German intellect, training the world to think. I loathe 
these small German breast-bestarred wanderers, whose only 
merit is their loving hatred of one another. In their own 
land they vegetate and wither unnoticed ; here we pay them 
highly to marry and perpetuate a pauper prince-race. If 
they do nothing, they are " good." If they do ill, loyalty 
gilds the vice till it looks like virtue. 



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DA Bradlaugh, Charles 

472 The impeachment of the 

B82 House of Brunswick